As you approach the Trumbull Library on Quality Street in the coming week, you may catch an unusual sight to the right of the main entrance. You'll see a series of clothes lines with t-shirts hanging & upon closer inspection, you'll see that the t-shirts are hand decorated with colorful art and sayings.
This display is Trumbull's 5th installment of “The Clothesline Project”, a program started in Hyannis, MA, in 1990 by visual artist Rachel Cary-Harper to address violence against women and children. Harper, inspired by the AIDS quilt, presented the concept of using shirts hanging on a clothesline as a way to raise consciousness. Since doing the laundry was always considered women's work and since women often exchanged information over backyard fences while hanging their clothes out to dry, the concept of the clothesline became the vehicle. Each year thousands of women now tell their stories of survival—and commemorate victims who died from domestic violence—by using words and/or artwork to decorate a t-shirt to be exhibited on a clothesline to address the issue of violence against women and children. With the support of many, it has since spread world-wide.
If you enter the grassy knoll which displays the clotheslines, you'll notice the striking artwork and touching words that address this issue and I'm sure you will not leave the display without being touched in your mind & soul. Several civic groups from town have banded together to support this display, and there will be a candlelight vigil on October 10th at 6:30 PM at Town Hall to conclude the display. I urge everyone to take a moment to see the clothesline & offer support for this important issue.
(Photo from the 2011 Clothesline Project by Fred Bonilla)