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Group to shine light on domestic violence

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Posted on July 19, 2012 |
By John Flowers



stephanielarsen3778.jpg
BRISTOL-BASED ARTIST Stephanie Larsen will participate in the “Shine a Light on Domestic Violence” fundraising project this summer. Artists will paint lamps for auction to benefit domestic violence awareness programs in the county. Independent photo/Trent Campbell

MIDDLEBURY — Bristol-based artist Stephanie Larsen literally dreamed up a fundraiser to benefit local domestic violence awareness programs.

Larsen, a domestic abuse survivor herself, was asleep when she imagined how to generate some cash for the Addison County Council Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (ACCADSV). In her reverie, she saw a group of wonderfully painted lamps and shades illuminating a banner that stated, “Shine a light on domestic violence.”

“It was vivid,” she said of her dream. “The next day, I e-mailed (ACCADSV Coordinator) Melissa (Deas) the details on my dream.”

That dream will become a reality in October, which happens to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month. On a specific date still to be determined, ACCADSV will hold its own “Shine a light on domestic violence” event that will prominently feature lamps painted by Addison County artists — including Larsen. Those lamps will ultimately be auctioned off to raise money for education programs designed to prevent future acts of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The ACCADSV is an organization that helps make sure there are no gaps in service for victims of domestic or sexual violence. Its membership consists of representatives of local nonprofits like WomenSafe and the Parent/Child Center of Addison County.

Deas has put out the call for donations of working lamps and artists willing to paint them for a good cause. To date, Deas has recruited around a dozen artists, but few lamps for them to paint. As a result, she is urging residents to go through their respective attics to find more lamps for the artists to turn into bid-worthy collector items.

“We actually need these lamps soon so artists will have time to paint them,” Deas said.

Plans call for the auction to be held at a local gallery or restaurant. The event will feature music and a speaker on domestic violence issues. Details on the event, when firmed up, will be published in the Addison Independent.

If successful, “Shine a light on domestic violence” could become a regular feature for the ACCADSV, according to Deas.

Artists and lamp donors should contact Deas at naiomi_ds@yahoo.com.

Meanwhile, Larsen is already planning her lamp creation for the fundraiser. Her workplace, the Stephanie Larsen Studios can be found off Bristol’s Main Street in the alley next to Art on Main.

And this is not the first time Larsen’s slumber has produced some sound direction for her life and the lives of others. She recalled a previous dream featuring a totem pole with talking animals. Each animal, according to Larsen, advised her to leave the previous relationship she was enduring in spite of her better judgment. The dream inspired her to take the imagined animals’ sound advice.

“I have learned to pay attention to these dreams,” she said with a smile.

Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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