New Bedford Teens Receive Recognition at ‘Violence Transformed’ Art Exhibits in Greater Boston

April 3, 2014

New Bedford teens are being recognized by Violence Transformed, a prominent anti-violence art exhibit in Boston, for their work on prevention posters created at Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter’s Summer Exploration Program. An annual series of visual and performing arts events, Violence Transformed draws upon artists throughout New England and selects works which utilize art to effect social change and reduce violence.

This year’s Violence Transformed exhibits will showcase various individual and collaborative works that provide a creative visual of alternatives to violence. Two of the selected works of art are prevention posters created by at-risk teens during Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter’s Summer Exploration Program. The program was a collaboration between the District Attorney’s Office, Artworks!, the Katie Brown Educational Program, and NB-AGLY.

The first poster entitled Choose Wisely, conveys the theme of dating violence prevention and was created by at-risk girls. The girls used a collage technique to create a flower with relationship pictures and terms for the petals. Positive relationship attributes– like loyalty, trust, and communication, remained on the flower; while negative relationship attributes–control, jealousy, and fear, fall off the flower. The poster was distributed to schools and youth-based organizations to encourage teens to think about what qualities make a healthy relationship and to Choose Wisely!

The second poster entitled Stop – Consider the Impact, conveys themes of bullying and suicide prevention and was created by LGBT teens. The teens used mixed media to highlight offensive words that are used aggressively or casually by teens, along with an image of a battered stop sign, to show how words can be destructive and take a toll on ones soul. The goal is for teens to consider the impact of these words, and begin to accept, understand and respect differences. The poster was created during the summer program which specifically addressed the high prevalence of suicide and bullying within teen GLBTQ communities. Under the leadership of the District Attorney’s Community Affairs Director Cecelia Porche, the program received a special recognition award in March at a legislative breakfast hosted by the Bristol County Regional Coalition for Suicide Prevention. Due to its warm reception, the poster will be distributed to schools and youth-based organizations throughout Bristol County.

The Summer Exploration Program is just one initiative of District Attorney Sutter’s prevention efforts. It is his belief that teens involved in positive, productive and healthy activities are less likely to become involved in delinquent behavior. Through his partnership with ArtWorks! (now New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!), at-risk youth are given an additional avenue to become involved. Together, youth will be encouraged to explore the arts as a means for developing interests, encouraging expression, and conveying crime prevention messages that will resonate with their peers. Noelle Foye, Executive Director of the New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! says, “I am always impressed with the thoughtful messages that emerge when teens find a voice through the arts. Working together in the studio creates an open and welcoming environment that allows them to express themselves and share what’s important to them with others. These posters are great examples of that.”

Both posters will be featured consecutively at two venues. The first exhibition, Violence Transformed: The Artist’s Voice, will take place at The Massachusetts Ave Gallery of Cambridge College, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, MA, from March 23-April 12, 2014. An opening reception was held on March 29, 2014, from 4-8pm. The final exhibition, Violence Transformed: Celebrating the Transformative Power of Art will take place at Doric Hall in the Massachusetts Statehouse, from April 28-May 9, 2014, with an artist reception on April 29, 2014, from 4-6pm.

For more information about Violence Transformed, go to www.violencetransformed.com, or contact Cecelia Porché, Director of Community Affairs, at (508) 961-1984.


Gregg Miliote
Director of Communications
774-292-9576-after hours
Ashley Bendiksen
Media Assistant
774-929-5614-after hours