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  • Leigh Square Art Centre 2253 Leigh Square Port Coquitlam, BC, V3C 3B8 Canada (map)

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 24. 7-9pm

Port Coquitlam, BC- August 28, 2015: Leigh Square Community Arts Village is pleased to introduce a joint exhibition of Karen Santos and Suzanne Laird. Shattering the Silence features Santos’ expressionist paintings and prints, and Laird’s mixed media pieces, a blend of painting and sculpture. Together these artists express emotional journeys through their artwork which have been influenced by different traumatic life experiences. The psychological and emotional states portrayed in this exhibition are a perfect display for Mental Health Month.

In this powerful exhibit, Karen Santos and Suzanne Laird aim to shatter the silence surrounding mental and emotional health by showcasing their own journeys from physical and psychological trauma to healing and recovery.  

Karen Santos' work explores feelings of profound loss. The series conveys a journey of healing, taking us through each step in the recovery process. Santos’ prints and paintings are expressionist portraits depicting different emotions and psychological states as a means to explore the symbiotic relationship between affects and art. This exhibit will provoke the viewer to analyze how they are affected by their own perception of each portrait and help them through the process of healing.

Suzanne Laird’s work explores often-ignored issues; the trauma of violence against women and children, rape and sexual abuse, and pain and healing. Her work blurs the lines between two dimensional paintings and sculptures. Trauma comes with many complex layers such as feelings of oppression, powerlessness, depression, forgiveness, hatred, surviving, and many more that are felt both simultaneously and separately. The healing process is extremely complex and is reflected by Laird’s artwork. Her work expresses these feelings and aims to raise awareness.

The community is invited to the opening reception on Thursday, September 24th from 7-9pm at Leigh Square. Bring your family and friends to view the art work, meet the artists, and enjoy some refreshments. It is free to attend and everyone is welcome! For those interested in learning more about the artists, and the artists’ practices and inspirations, please check out our exhibition catalog and website for our interview with the group.

The Leigh Square Community Arts Village encourages and facilitates community development through arts, culture, and heritage within Port Coquitlam and serves as a cultural meeting place, a 21st century community arts centre. See for details. We wish to thank the Friends of Leigh Square Society and participating artist for their support of the exhibition program at Leigh Square.

Earlier Event: May 1
Later Event: October 30