Transforming perspectives on trauma through paintings of hope [AlaskaPublishing.org]

 

Tarah Hargrove stands before a massive painting. One side is dominated by grey cinder blocks and stencils of guns. The other by a yellow sky filled with birds. And in the center is a giant portrait of Hargrove, herself. Her chin is lifted, and she looks defiantly at the viewer, magenta radiating from her hair.

“So my inner narcissist was like, ‘Yay! My face!” Hargrove said, laughing about her first impression of the four-panel mural painted by University of Alaska Anchorage students. Though she’s light-hearted, she knows that sharing he story – her truth – through the artwork is essential.

Last fall she was invited by a professor, Steve Gordon, to tell a group of beginning art students about her life. She started with her unstable childhood: her abusive stepfather had substance misuse problems, she was raped and she attempted suicide. Despite that, as a young adult she did well in school, started her own business and helped raise her younger sister.



[For more of this story, written by Anne Hillman, go to https://www.alaskapublic.org/2...h-paintings-of-hope/]

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