Fifth annual Art Above Violence set for Oct. 10

Photo courtesy Rise Above Violence

By Ashley Wilson
Rise Above Violence 

Rise Above Violence is excited to bring you the fifth annual Art Above Violence show Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. This year’s theme is Together We Rise — and ironically was chosen before the all the craziness of 2020 began. For our fifth year, we wanted to highlight the vision of community coming together to support and honor survivors. It will take all of us to end violence in our community; this is not something the survivors can do alone, it is not something Rise can do alone, but together with our community, we can rise above violence.

This year’s event will be hosted virtually to ensure the comfort of all of our community. We are working hard to bring you a beautiful virtual event that both honors the survivors and the artists and will still bring you an evening of amazing art, both still art and performance.

The joy of a virtual show is that you can watch from anywhere. Once you purchase your ticket, you will be sent information on how to see the art and how to bid on the art, and the day before the show, you will be sent information about how to watch. So, even if you won’t be in town Oct. 10, you can still tune in.

Photos courtesy RIse Above Violence
The fifth annual Art Above Violence is set for Oct. 10. This year’s event will be hosted virtually and will again feature both still art and performance art. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

We will have the same great performances coming to your TV or computer. Our dance, vocal, other performances and speakers have been prerecorded in order for you to enjoy their amazing craft. The Rise team and Blue Haas, our amazing emcee, will be coming to you live on our virtual stream. So, if you have attended the show before, we hope to bring you the same level of entertainment and information as to what you would see sitting at the in-person venue. 

To purchase tickets, you can access the link from our website,, or the auction site,–art-above-violence-f82b827918. 

As with all things, we are looking for the silver lining. We hope that this show can reach more people because friends and family can watch from anywhere. The strength and hope that the survivors share and how the art captures their stories can reach far and wide to send a message of hope and healing. More than anything for the event, we strive to share both the reality of what happens in our community but also how we can rise together to end interpersonal violence in Pagosa.

This show means so much to our survivors, sharing their story to help empower others also brings deeper healing for themselves. If you have been following our Facebook event, many of the artists interviewed about their experience creating their work for this show and the impact it also has on them; if you have not had a chance to view, head over to our Facebook Event: Fifth annual Art Above Violence Show. 

Artist Paula Jo Miller included this with her art: “This painting represents my attempt to capture the incredible strength I felt from my partner in this year’s Art Above Violence project. ‘Strength’ has three distinct layers — the first being a backdrop of colors that illustrate the first part of my partner’s life and where she grew up. The second layer, a bleak and barren tree, represents the period when she experienced devastating violence and trauma. The final layer comprises brilliant leaves unexpectedly growing from seemingly dead branches, signifying new beginnings. ‘Strength’ has many intentional imperfections that signify the imperfections of life. The uncolored outlines of leaves, for example, represent hope, growth and change to come.” 

There are many layers to the art, as there are to the survivors’ stories. Please join us in watching and honoring these stories.

The Art Above Violence art is currently up on display at the Tennyson Building and Event Center at 197 Navajo Trail Drive, and is open for public viewing Oct. 7 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. You can also get some help with bidding or viewing questions if you come by the gallery. Come see the beautiful art in person; photos online do not quite do it justice. We are limited in the number of people in the gallery at any one time to ensure the comfort and safety of all who come to view the art.

Art Above Violence is one of four fundraising events that Rise hosts every year, three of which have been canceled. These events are vital in supporting the services Rise provides to victims and survivors in our community. It is also the kick-off event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

Other things happening for Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Oct. 6, the week of the show, a town proclamation at the town council meeting will proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the town of Pagosa Springs. Additionally, there will be a county proclamation at the county commissioner meeting on Oct. 20. Look for the purple ribbons on main street and join us for our virtual Coffee Talk on Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. — held on Facebook Live. 

Rise is a nonprofit organization which promotes the belief that all people have the right to live free from violence. Rise provides 24-hour support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or other forms of violence, serving over 350 victims each year. Rise also works to eliminate violence through education for youth and our community. All programs and services are free and confidential, including emergency prevention education and empowerment programs. Visit for more information or call 264- 9075 to talk to an advocate today. If you want to be part of the team to help those in our community, volunteers for advocacy are always needed and welcomed.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence in their home, please call 264-9075. There is help. You are not alone.