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T-shirts and tears

USU Eastern displays the Clothesline Project, bearing witness of violence against women.

Sun Advocate associate editor

The art exhibit on display this week at USU Eastern's student center ballroom has an accessory not seen in other galleries: a box of tissues for visitors who need to wipe away tears.

That's because it is an exhibit of sadness, row after row of hand-painted t-shirts, each one telling a short story of violence against women.

Darrin Brandt, director of the college's counseling center, said he considers the shirts to be art because they are a way for victims, survivors and witnesses of abuse to express themselves. The college and the Colleen Quigley Crisis Center are co-sponsoring the exhibit.

The project began with 31 shirts in 1990 in Massachusetts and has caught on nationwide. The shirts at the college are from local people and from Utah Valley University, which has been running its own project for more than a decade.

T-shirt art is intended to aid in healing victims and survivors and to raise public awareness of the extent of the problem. An assault against a woman is reported an average of once every 10 seconds in this country. The exhibit runs through Friday.

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