Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits


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Follow story of the Monument Conception (videos 1-5)

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An Artist's Response
  Community Consultation
  Cohesive Collaboration
Art Research Project
Quilt Square Workshops Begin
(video 5)
An Artist's Response

In 1990, sculptor Michael C. Irving, Ph.D., himself a survivor, initially conceived of a plan for a Memorial Monument for Survivors of Child Abuse. Michael says, "The major motivating force behind the desire to create a monument was the call to action of the witness. I was working with survivors of profound child abuse. As both an artist and a psychotherapist, in many sessions in which terribly tragic stories of abuse were related, I had thoughts about the need for a memorial to acknowledge and address these brutally grave acts against innocent and vulnerable children. Also, as a child, I had witnessed other children being cruelly treated and even maimed by very sadistic adults. It seemed the resolution of my grief, despair and sadness over these events called for remembrance and memorial, perhaps even in a social manner."

A visit to the Vietnam Wall and the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC helped Michael finalize his considerations of sculpting a child abuse memorial.


Sculptor/Psychotherapist Michael C. Irving, Ph.D. began discussing the concerns of a child abuse memorial in 1990 and wrote the project business plan in 1995.

It was apropos that one of the
first quilt squares stated, "I've been
to Nam and I've been through child
abuse, and child abuse was tougher".

Michele, age 8, contributes a hand stating, "If child abuse won't stop, then war won't stop and there will be no peace in the world.

Community Consultation

From 1990 to 1995, Michael shared his ideas with other survivors, clinicians, and artists in Canada and the United States, and listened to their feelings and feedback. In 1995 a formal business plan for The Survivor Monument Project was written up. Following numerous strategy and planning meetings, the first gathering of survivors met in April of 1996 to launch the project and by the fall of 1996 the project name had evolved to The Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project and a design for the "Reaching Out" Monument was finalized.

Cohesive Collaboration

As an artist, his vision was the creation of a visually integrated monumental bronze sculpture produced in collaboration with small groups of survivor/artists. The collaborative component of the monument, the sculpting of the Monument Quilt, also allowed the creation of an independent collection of art works. The project is innovative in its process, product, goals and image design.

Striving for a visually integrated monumental bronze sculpture
produced in collaboration with small groups of survivor/artists.
Art Research Project

During 1996, Michael supervised a group of fellow survivors in an extensive arts research project during which, over a four month period, elements of the Monument Project such as materials, process, and design were explored.

In the 1996 art research project for the monument, several sizes of quilt palettes were sculpted to identify the best visual effect and use of space for survivor/artists' hands, art and messages. It was determined that ten inch sculpted quilt squares would be used.

After experimenting with earthen clay, plasticine and microcrystalline wax, it was decided that the wax was the best sculpting medium for the quilt square process.

Each survivor/artist in the art research group worked with a uniquely different conceptual image on their sculpted palettes.

Louise created two similar quilt squares with the hand as a print in one and the hand reaching out in the other.
Michael worked with an interesting conceptual image of a portrait of himself as a young child sculpted in the form of his adult hand.

Rob did four different variations of the hand as an expression of rage, and another survivor/artist sculpted Robert Munch-like screaming figures around the hand.

Cathy worked with the expression of energy through curved lines and a simple but poignant question written onto her square.

Through our many test squares, it was decided that the image of the hand coming out of the palette rather than indented in as a print, was a far more powerful image and concept.

Together we can make a difference
and heal our hearts.
Heather age 24 "Cycle against abuse."

Michael's detailed quilt square took
four years for him to complete.

In the fall of 1996 L.'s quilt square
was the first one completed for the monument.

Like Michael, Grant's quilt square
began with the original art research
team and took four years
to complete.

"Together we can do this!"
It is not an easy thing to live.
Let's work together to stop ABUSE!


Quilt Square Workshops

In 1997 collaborative quilt squares for the monument began to be created on a regular basis.

Creating the Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project has been a community effort. The design and details of the final monument, the art exhibition and the public awareness campaign were created and refined through small and large group discussions. The project is the concerted effort of survivors as well as individuals and organizations who lent their support to this issue.

Community outreach and liaison has allowed subsequent meetings and committee memberships to include representatives from many diverse social agencies, organizations and groups. All members have a positive interest in or are currently serving children, youth or adults who have been abused or sexually abused.

In 1997, the Board formally incorporated as a non-profit organization and developed an impressive Circle of Friends as well as a number of working committees. The Project was featured in full-page newspaper articles, on radio and television, held a benefit concert, published newsletters, received long-term commitments for in-kind donations and has launched an Internet web site (

After completing his sculpted quilt
square in the first workshop,
Gary went on to further sculpting
and began having well received
public exhibitions of his work.

In the first workshop, Angela assists
on the the quilt square of an artist
who later committed much time
to the project, but like many
participants, wanted to maintain
her public anonymity.

B.'s square from the first workshop
was inspired by, and dedicated to,
the thoughts and feelings of
another survivor. Many squares
on the monument have had some element of acknowledgment or remembrance for others.
"Follow Site Web Ring"
Go to Phase 1B:
"Reaching Out" Symbol

I don't like how
people hit other.





Child abuse is disgusting
and against the law.
Children should be free to
go places without the
worry of being abused.





I think it is bad
and wrong!!!
Kyle, age 11





This hand shall forever
know the pains and
woes that sorrow sows.
F red, age 17





unheard tears
unheard scream
unheard lies
unheard breath
Now I'm left with
all the scars
that will never heal.
Heba 16




Hitting is wrong.
Munasser, age 8





Treat them nice.
Not yella at!






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*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)

Your Donations are Needed
to Bring the Child Abuse Monument Home from the Foundry

* Donations *
* Story of the Monument/Phases of the Project * Phase 1: Design * Phase II: Create * Phase III: Implement * Phase IV:Positioning *
* Monument Overview * Monument Project Organization * Project Story - Flash Movie *
* A Healing Monument * Monument as Social Action * A Gift for Allies in Healing *
* Artistic Director: Michael C. Irving, Ph.D. * Assisting Sculptors * Studio Visits *
* Monument Conception/Creation * Monument Sculpting * Casting the Bronze *
* Quilt Square Workshop Participants *
Heroes of the Monument * Facing Challenges * Monument Lessons * Monument Stories
* Self Care Activities for Survivors * Well Being * Creating Coping Lists * Meditation Gallery *
* Information on Child Abuse
* Types of Abuse * Impacts of Abuse * Responses to Abuse *
* Resource Links on Child Abuse *
* Survivor Monument Poetry and Quilt Square Books *
* Awareness Campaign * Research Forum * Cambridge Tour * DAS School *
Contribute a HandPrint Message for Placement Inside the Child Abuse Monument *
* Sponsorship as Healing * Sponsors * Local Sponsors * Sponsorship Opportunities *
* Unveiling *

*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)