Alumni Spotlight: Claire Salvo

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For a decade after being sexually assaulted Claire Salvo locked the pain away and remained silent. Inspired by the bravery of survivors coming forward in 2016, she finally published her own story. Now, she is helping to draw attention to other women’s painful stories through her art.

Salvo was an Art of Freelance scholarship recipient in Spring of 2018, and during that time worked on her project “ME:WE”, which uses drawings and text to tell the stories of nine women who have been sexually assaulted. ME:WE is about community and finding solidarity in a solitary experience.

Salvo uses the technique of “stippling,” which uses small dots to create an image. Her portraits are composed of tens of thousands of dots, each representing a woman who has been sexually assaulted. Together, they compose the image of a single subject. Their portraits will be accompanied by the women’s stories told in their own words.

“The support of my cohort was vital in helping to keep me motivated, as the artistic process can at times feel tedious. I loved being able to ask for advice and guidance, especially regarding how to present my series – still very much a work in progress. Thanks to those ideas, I will have a cohesive, comprehensive and meaningful presentation.” - Claire

This video takes an in-depth look at her intricate artistic process and why, in this case, the medium is truly the message.

Salvo plans to exhibit “ME:WE” in Los Angeles, New York City, and seven cities in between.

Follow Claire on Instagram for the latest developments on her project or visit clairesalvo.com.

For more information on helping to build communities free from sexual violence, please visit Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention services and violence prevention education.

Conor Gallagher