Guelph-Humber News A naked tree stands alone under the moon surrounded by red skies.

Published on October 25, 2013 | by Johna Autencio     Photography by Radix Editors


Artistic work helps transform trauma into worldwide movement

A picture is worth a thousand words. It even creates a worldwide movement.


The Gatehouse building which resembles an old town house

The Gatehouse organization is dedicated to helping child abuse survivors and are implementing unique ways of coping with trauma.

Humber College’s Lakeshore campus hosted the third annual “Transforming Trauma: A Worldwide Movement”. This weeklong event featured pieces of art by Humber students and local artists in support of “The Gatehouse.”

“The Gatehouse” organization began in 1998 and is dedicated to providing support, resources and advocacy on behalf of those impacted by childhood sexual abuse.

This is a place where survivors of childhood sexual abuse can get together, tell their stories and give back their voices. This will help heal their wounds and inspire each other to see their own potential.

Arthur Lockhart, Executive Director of The Gatehouse, said “Transforming Trauma” is “a way to gather people, support spirit, [and] to respond to the trauma.”

This year, the idea of having the art exhibit started around August 2013 by his organization. Two months later, it was in Building L of Humber’s Lakeshore campus displaying different pieces of art.

When you first walk into the gallery space, there are so many beautiful pieces of art to take in. It features a wide variety of paintings, photographs, poetry and sculptures.

Some examples the gallery displayed were paintings of tigers, waterfalls and even portraits of a featured artists’ past relative. So much time and effort was put into the artists’ work and was clearly seen throughout the intricate pieces. There were even pieces of work from other countries incorporated into the art exhibit.

Portrait of a woman

Inspiration boards made by students from the young-adult program in “The Gatehouse” was also featured in the gallery. The collages of photographs are what inspire these students and would pay homage to their leaders.

Lockhart said through “The Gatehouse”, the committee made up of students at Humber College and the Social Transformative Committee, they want to get a worldwide movement going about how you embrace the issue of trauma and collectively work on it.

Maria Barcelos, volunteer and administrative coordinator at “The Gatehouse” said there are already global partnerships with their organization, such as The National Association for People Abused in Childhood, an agency in the U.K., Voice Today in Marietta, GA. and The Innocence Revolution. Some affiliates from Africa such as Ghana and Nigeria are also connected with “The Gatehouse.”

“We are trying to do this global partnership with these agencies to spread awareness about child abuse preventions,” said Barcelos.

Executive Director Arthur Lockhart believes that the artwork will “express voice; a voice for the voiceless.”

For those who are interested in getting involved with the Social Transformative Committee or with The Gatehouse, they are now recruiting for more volunteers. An application must be handed in to Maria Barcelos, as well as Paula Cordeiro, who is the child and family advocate.


                                                  A painting of a grey medieval brick wall with a dragon passing through

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About the Author

is a journalism student at the University of Guelph-Humber. She's a lover of food, travel, and entertainment, and is a big believer in making every day count. Follow her on Twitter @jautencio.

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