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The Pearls Community Wall Builds Momentum to Help End Domestic Violence
April 11, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom: End the Violence Exhibition
Created by KIM ABELES and

Join us online to make your own pearl
                                                                Photo Credit: Ken Marchionno

Pearls of Wisdom: End the Violence
 is a two-year community engagement project created by artist Kim Abeles in collaboration with A Window Between Worlds and over 800 survivors of domestic violence. It is based on the powerful metaphor of pearls as treasures that form inside an oyster in response to a hurtful irritant. 

"This is the healing of art: to see one's isolated suffering transformed into a tale of hope; to see private tragedy transformed into public urgency . . ."

-Suzanne Lacy, noted artist, author and Chair of the Otis Graduate Public Practice program.


For this reason, supporters, community leaders and celebrities have enthusiastically joined with the survivors in contributing to the project's culminating  exhibition at the Korean Cultural Center where Abeles deftly weaves together survivors' potent words with the hundreds of pearls they made in the workshops to open a significant social dialogue.  You too can be a part of this extraordinary project by creating your own pearl of wisdom and adding it to our community blog: createpearls.awbw.org


The entire Pearls project is documented with a handsome, full-color 100 page catalog that includes Abeles' poignant “Handbook for Living,” a succinct compilation of the unique artworks and cogent advice offered by the survivors as public lessons of courage and strength. Also in the catalog are important essays on art and activism by Suzanne Lacy, Barbara T. Smith, Kim Abeles and Cathy Salser, AWBW's founding artist, and community activists and long time AWBW supporters, Suvan Geer and Sandra Mueller, who served as Project Chair.  Catalog is available for purchase through our website.



Kim Abeles is the community artist partner. Her art crosses disciplines often focusing on the nearly invisible lives embedded within big social issues. She has quite accurately been described as “one of the most acute observers of the state of our region's body and soul.” by Artscene’s Orville O. Clarke. Abeles' installations and art objects explore and map the urban environment and chronicle broad social issues. She is a domestic violence survivor and internationally respected for her large-scale collaborative installations. 

The Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles (KCCLA) is a supporting partner of the Pearls of Wisdom: End the Violence project. KCCLA is the largest facility outside of Korea providing insights into the rich cultural heritage of Korea through sponsored events, films and educational programs. 

The project is also supported by generous individuals as well as  a Creative Connections Fund grant from The James Irvine Foundation with added support from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, the Durfee Foundation, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Target, the Women's Foundation of California.

Added contributions  to support traveling the Pearls of Wisdom exhibition and the ongoing work of A Window Between Worlds are welcome and appreciated.

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