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Emotional abuse is the subject of an upcoming art exhibit in Rochester

Emotional abuse is the subject of an upcoming art exhibit in Rochester

With a mix of both visual art and music, the Sound of Scars gallery opening this week promises to be anything but your typical art gallery.

The exhibit aims to shed light on the pervasive and elusive emotional abuse that happens in every community — regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or economic status.

“Having personally gone through this kind of abuse and knowing others who have too, I was disappointed with how hard it was to find resources about it," said Nate DeBoer, the composer and curator of the gallery. "It was like looking for the needle in the haystack. I wanted to bring public attention and validation to the topic.”

The gallery showcases the anonymous stories of seven survivors of emotional abuse. Each of the seven storytellers will have their handwritten stories displayed on a hanging canvas with photographs and found objects, and each will be accompanied by music composed by DeBoer himself.

The goal is to create an immersive, multimedia experience for viewers to closely connect with the storytellers.

“I use music to pull the emotion out of the stories and tie them together with the imagery,” said DeBoer. “It creates a deeper impact, both sensationally and emotionally, for viewers.”

The Sound of Scars is a free gallery and will be open to the public from August 6-21 at the Rochester Civic Theatre.

An opening reception on Wednesday, August 5 goes from 6-9 p.m. and will feature live performances, refreshments, awareness advocacy and a silent art auction to benefit local nonprofits. Click here to learn more.


About Sydney Flottum: Sydney is a double major in graphic design and English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  She enjoys being back in Rochester for the summer and spending time reading, drawing, and catching up with friends and family. Currently, she’s attempting to teach herself how to play the accordion but is overwhelmed by all the buttons.


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(Cover photo: The Sound of Scars /Annie Medberry)

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