Featured Artists

Survivors Art Foundation

Featured Artists

From time to time we will feature various artists on these pages that we feel represent the broad scope of “healing through art” that the Survivors Art Foundation is dedicated to encouraging.

You can see more of Julio’s work in our Visual Arts Gallery.

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The following is excerpted from Torture Survivors Network:

I, Julio __ __ was disappeared the 16th of Dec., 1990, at the site of my house. The military commissioners were searching the fields on all sides where every day I go watering our plants. I was taken wearing a red shirt with black stripes, black pants and white shoes. I had a lantern and I 0 quetzales in my bag. The people that took me were five in number, masked and armed with rifles. They took me and put me in a blue truck near the __ School and took me to the military zone # __ in the Department of Solaia.

“At the military zone I was tied up and put into a deep hole without light and surrounded on all sides by mud. They put me with a pig in the mud. After 15 days suffering at the military zone, where I was tortured in my stomach, my head, my hand my foot and to this day, I have remained handicapped. I was taken by them of the military zone and left by the side of a bridge in the lowlands by the town of Esquintia.

“That’s where I was seen by a woman, thrown by the river below the bridge. I was taken by the volunteer Fire Department where I was taken to recuperate for 6 months in the national hospital in E. After I got better, I was taken and accompanied by two nurses to my own home on the 29th of May. The military commissioners, !, !!, !!!, !!!! and !!!!! are the ones who took me away.”

Ed. Note: When Julio was found, he had been stabbed in the stomach, had his throat cut and slashed in the head down to the brain with a machete. He was treated at AMIGOS de los SOBREVIVIENTES, where he regained his speech ability, the use of his right arm and his dropped right foot was corrected. Best of all, his fears of being out of the house and of strangers were overcome and his delightful personality and sense of fun emerged full-blown.

Wendy Csoka
In July, 1997, artist Wendy Csoka underwent 10-1/2 hours of Neurosurgery
for the removal of a benign brain tumor. Here are two samples of images painted by Wendy before and after her surgery. She has the unique ability to share her experience visually, which helped her through the process and resonates with all those who see the paintings. From the terror of the day before surgery, to the moment when she threw away the cane she needed for balance for months after, these paintings are an inspiration for anyone faced with a life-threatening illness. (Artist’s descriptions accompany her works.)

You can see more of Ms. Csoka’s work in our Visual Arts Gallery.

54″ x 32″

Wendy felt like she was brought to her knees by the experience. All of life is fragile and very humbling. You look at things differently and appreciate all. There is a time when you accept what is and what will be and learn to go on.

Be of Good Courage
77″ x 49″

This painting was the first new painting executed three months after surgery. It represents all the flowrs, prayers and love Wendy received. Musical notes are emanating from the left ear of the figure. Wendy loves music and her perception of it has been altered due to the loss of hearing in her surgery ear.

Suzanne Stutman

Suzanne Stutman
Dr. Stutman is a Professor of English, American Studies and Women’s Studies at Penn State University. She is the author of four books and over two dozen articles. She has participated in cooperative exhibitions with the UNICEF Organization and other Non-Profits. She is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. “I believe so deeply that we, as artists who have been so wounded yet have survived to sing, to tell, to create a world of beauty which enriches life, have a special gift and purpose as healers.”

‘”Suzanne Stutman’s beautiful, poetic and moving book, “Broken Feather,’ expresses the terrible, confusing, lonely emotional world of the abused and neglected child. It is also a heartening reminder that, alongside being scarred, it is possible to transcend childhood trauma and deprivation — and, surprisingly enough, that such an assault on the soul of the child can, sometimes and somehow, lead to, as well as stifle, artistic creativity.” — Leonard Shengold, MD

“This thoughtful, honest and passionate collection of poems and pieces will immediately touch any survivor’s soul. Beautifully written, it shares a personal and universal healing journey for survivors of incest and sexual abuse. It is truly a gift.” — Virginia Klein, PhD

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This book can be bought from the publisher:
Manor House Publications
3501 Newberry Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154
To order by telephone: 1-800-343-8464

For an excerpt from the above book, please see our
Short Stories page.

Dr. Stutman’s poem, ” I, a Woman”, will be read publicly for the first time next March in New York at the IHAN (The International Health Awareness Network) conference on “The Elimination of Violence Against Women,” to be held at the United Nations March 8, 1999. More info about this event will be forthcoming.

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