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Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art
"I Am the Bear"

Breanna Welch is a senior fine arts student at the University of Sioux Falls. She recently completed her senior exhibit, which is now hanging in the Mears Library. As it is Child Abuse Prevention Month, she thought her work may be of interest to the Sioux Falls Feminists organization. Her show, titled I Am the Bear, is an artistic depiction of the effects of child abuse and neglect. She attempted to create a narrative that is both educational but also safe for the viewers to relate to. If they are interested she encourages people to take a look, and read through the personal accounts left for her by victims.

On display at the Mears Library
at the University of Sioux Falls

 

Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear
Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear
Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear
Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear
Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear
Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear
Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art: I Am the Bear

 

Artist's Statement

Who would I be if not for art? Growing up, art was a foundation aspect of my life. I don’t believe I could pinpoint of moment in time in which art, and the world it entails, wasn’t in some way engrained in my being. In church, my pamphlet was full of sketches of the backs of heads in pews ahead of me. In school, the margins of my notebooks were overflowing with doodles of imaginary people and places, much to the dismay of my instructors. At home, I created hundreds (most likely thousands) of pieces that were mostly pointless, but regardless, they served their purpose. You see art is not merely a past time. Instead it has been a tool of healing. Art has been the medication, almost an addiction, I have relied on to exist.

Our culture doesn’t like to acknowledge the ugly truths of this world, that is unless theirs able to manipulate these darker aspects of life for their own purpose. So when a child faces the unforgiving grasp of abuse, why do we reach a point as a society in our proclaimed mission to protect that we feel comfortable in retreat? How do we fool ourselves into believing we’ve done all we can? This has been my reality. The most rudimentary elements of my upbringing have been directly affected by the gentle abandonment of this well-meaning philosophy. They look fine, so they must be fine: a lie in its most basic form.

I have attempted to battle our discomfort. My work is a direct reflection of the most intimate feelings carefully placed in my care by those who grew up in the shadow of childhood trauma. Their voices, my voice, have been concealed so delicately for too long. It is my intention that my process emphasizes my message. Each stoke of the brush, that’s a moment spent carefully concealing what lies beneath. Every layer in my prints, those are the coping mechanisms developed in desperation. All the material in shambles, that is the emotional combat zone that holds each moment captive. In the same way art has been a band-aid carefully cloaking all my wounds, my work is the mortar for which this crusade will be built on.

Breanna Welch

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Breanna Welch Child Abuse Art
"I Am the Bear"