Ford City workshop uses art to help victims of bullying
Two Ohio artists will team up with the Ford City Library on Friday and Saturday to help victims of bullying find expression and healing through art.
Professional artists Paul Richmond and Linda Regula will lead the free workshops. They cofounded the You Will Rise Project about three years ago with a website that allows people to submit their creative works dealing with the pain they have experienced from being bullied.
“The artwork that these people make speaks louder than words,” Richmond said. “We want to give them space to speak out, to express themselves and help them realize they are not alone.”
He and Regula accept art submissions on www.youwillriseproject.com from around the world and have so far only conducted workshops in central Ohio.
But they decided to make a special trip to Ford City at the request of Richmond's sister-in-law, Tiffany Harkleroad, a library assistant.
“I know some local kids impacted by bullying who have harmed themselves — even to the point of taking their own life,” Harkleroad said.
That's the kind of outcome Richmond and Regula are striving to prevent.
“I remember hearing stories of young people committing suicide, and I wondered how I didn't become one of those statistics,” Richmond said.
He still recalls the feeling of alienation he felt as a child and remembers the taunts and name-calling he endured as a nerdy, shy and unathletic fourth-grader.
At that time, Regula was his art teacher, and she encouraged him to paint his experience. So he painted a puzzle with each piece bearing an image of a child stick figure. The puzzle was incomplete with one piece that did not fit. On that separate and out-of-place piece, he painted an image of himself, sitting all alone.
That childhood painting was part of a local art exhibit and received an award. He was amazed at how other kids related to it and recalls overhearing other students say how it reminded them of how they often felt.
“When I made that painting, I didn't think anyone else would get it,” he said.
That experience helped him realize the way in which art can help victims communicate and heal.
The library's Art Against Bullying project is for ages 11 through 20, and all materials will be provided. Richmond notes that the workshops are not limited to visual artistic expression. Participants can also choose to express themselves through creative outlets like writing, poetry and music.
“If they have something to say, we'll help them find a way to say it,” he said.
Those interested in participating should call, stop by the library or click on the event link on Ford City Library's Facebook page.
The final day of the workshop is Saturday at 3 p.m., just in time for the library's second Annual Summer Arts Festival near the gazebo in the John B. Ford Memorial Park.
The festival will showcase work from student artists and professional artisans. There will be food booths and a live performance by the Library Players and the Muddy Creek band.
When the festival ends at 7 p.m., there will be an exhibit of works produced during the Art Against Bullying Project.
“People can show support and get a deeper understanding of bullying,” Richmond said. “It can be a healing experience for everyone involved.”
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Crash leaves Burrell Township family without father, friend
- Teachers at 2 Armstrong schools go casual for a cause
- Kittanning, Kiski police getting trained to help abuse victims
- Armstrong County Jail commitments since Dec. 13
- Family escapes house fire in Kittanning
- Armstrong man dies in single-vehicle crash
- South Buffalo church nears end of more than a century of worship
- Samples show Plumcreek gas leaks aren’t methane
- Students perform Christmas program at Kittanning health center
- Armstrong County adopts $20.7 million budget, maintains tax rate
- Project Joy lifts Christmas spirits at Armstrong County Health Center