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Art exhibitions lead into Fem Fest at The Hub

The Highway of Tears is one of the missing women cases Vernon artist Jessika LaFramboise explores in her exhibition, She was standing there. And then she was gone, opening at The Hub Arts Collective Saturday, Feb. 2.  - Photo submitted
The Highway of Tears is one of the missing women cases Vernon artist Jessika LaFramboise explores in her exhibition, She was standing there. And then she was gone, opening at The Hub Arts Collective Saturday, Feb. 2.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Some familiar faces, and the memories of women who have gone missing across B.C., are part of this month’s art exhibitions opening at The Hub Arts Collective.

In the front lobby, All About Me, showcases Hub members via self-portrait.

Each member was encouraged to create an image of his/herself in a media of his/her choice. Ranging from photography to charcoal to paint, members let their inner feelings, emotions and vulnerability show.

In the inner gallery, Jessika LaFramboise’s She was standing there. And then she was gone dominates the space.

In 2011, when then three-year-old Kienan Hebert went missing from his Sparwood home, all eyes were on the media. Terrified of the fact that a child could disappear so easily, LaFramboise started looking into other missing children. She came across a multitude of websites filled with information about missing people of all ages in B.C. But one group stood out the most – missing women.

Unable to successfully wade through the pages upon pages of information, she started making her own map, slowly piecing everything together.

Her research on the women missing from the Highway of Tears, from downtown Vancouver’s Eastside, and from around the province is now plastered on the walls of The Hub.

“The stats on violence against women, especially those of aboriginal heritage, are staggering,” said LaFramboise. “As a Métis woman, I need to take a stand and bring the public’s attention to the serious issue we have here in Canada.”

One terrifying number LaFramboise received from Statistics Canada is that in every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her current or former partner. Aboriginal women are eight times more likely to be killed than a non-Aboriginal woman, according to Status of Women Canada.

“The information about the missing women is from my own research from family testimonies, to missing posters, to what was in the media,” said LaFramboise. “The show isn’t so much about the stats as it is about the fact that justice has yet to be served.”

LaFramboise is also producing Fem Fest, which will include a cabaret, artist talk, documentary screenings, a play reading and a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues.

Fem Fest will run right after the Vernon Winter Carnival, from Feb. 9 to 16, at The Hub.

The opening reception for both All About Me and She was standing there. And then she was gone is Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. Admission is by donation, with proceeds going to The Hub.

The exhibits are open to the public Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

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