Quilt against Bullycide

cj grossman is an art activist.  Her quilt against bullycide will be displayed at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park every Friday night in November 2014 (November 7, 14, 21 and 28) from 6:30pm – 8:30pm and Sunday, November 30th from 12 noon to 5pm.

For a few years I had been thinking of doing an artwork on bullying.  The final catalyst for me was the news about Audrie Pott, a 15 year old girl in California who hung herself due to bullying.  She had passed out at a party after drinking Gatorade that was laced with booze.  Then she was sexually assaulted by more than one boy, and the film of that was shown on the internet.  It was extremely disturbing for her and she committed suicide.  I began to research other cases and found at least 223 teens in the US that had committed suicide due to bullying.  I knew I needed to do an art installation which chronicled this tragedy.  I found Linda Hannawalt, a quilter, who helped me design the quilt and did the actual quilting.  It has 223 names on it and 4 stories of teens.  If there had been enough space, I would have written words about each child.  In addition to the quilt, I have a Wall of Hope in the installation which has messages from the “It Gets Better” project.  There are also messages from children, teens and adults who see the quilt and want to write something about their own experience with bullying.  I have many many flyers for people to take with them, anti-bully buttons and a small anti-bully book which kids can take or a copy they can fold and cut themselves.  As an art activist, this is the artwork I am called do – to educate and inspire people about an issue and speak for those whose voices are not loud enough to be heard.