When Mollie Corbett was only five years old, something was stolen from her. Not just her innocence, but her voice. For years she felt ashamed for what her babysitter's son did to her. She was the victim, yet felt like she shouldn't talk about it because of the stigma.

Now Ms. Corbett has a voice. She has strength. She has a goal to let everyone who has suffered sexual assault know that they don't have to feel ashamed. It's not now, nor was it ever their fault. And in a daring art exhibit at Artspace, she will be tearing down barriers that so many people face by opening up her own soul and telling her story through "A Multi-Sensory Fine-Art Photography Exhibit of Personal Stories of Sexual Assault Survivors."

As Artspace writes in their press release:

Sometimes walls CAN talk, and Mollie Corbett’s photographic art exhibit OUTLIER is going to have the walls resounding openly, freely, and triumphantly with personal stories of sexual assault, including her own, beginning with an opening reception Thursday, April 7 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. @ artspace.

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and OUTLIER is a multi-sensory fine art photography exhibit featuring the personal stories of sexual assault survivors to raise social awareness, dispel victim stigma, foster restorative justice and bring the subject of sexual assault out into open discussion.

“For too long, the strength of every assailant has been our reluctance to talk about assault,” said Corbett. “I speak freely and openly about my assault by the babysitter’s son because the shame of it does not belong to me, and I want every victim within my hearing to hear that boldness, that audacity of a survivor to refuse to be silenced by shame. When we can talk openly about sexual assault and when shame is relegated to its proper place, restorative justice can flourish,” added Corbett.

OUTLIER is a multi-sensory exhibit that will include large-scale prints of real victims, including Corbett, that will hang on black walls amidst a set that represents the “ruins” or negative aspects of the sexual assault—an ornate birdcage near the assailant’s feet with words inside that tell something personal about the memory of the assault, trash strewn in the bottom of the scene and hope hanging above the victim in the form of words of affirmation such as “self worth,” “redemption” and “courage.” These are photographs of victims from our own neighborhoods who have each bravely agreed to share their stories visually so that others might not have to suffer as they have.

OUTLIER continues at artspace through May 7, 2016.

For more information, contact:
Pam Atchison, SRAC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
(318) 673-6500, pam@shrevearts.org

Casey Jones, SRAC MARKETING DIRECTOR
(318) 673-6500, casey@shrevearts.org

Pat Viser, SRAC PUBLIC RELATIONS
(318) 426-1413, pat@shrevearts.org