Local artist debuts new artwork at Cambridge Center for the Arts

Artist Shirl Chouinard will debut her new artwork “Home Sweet Home,” which was chosen for an art exhibition by Cambridge Center for the Arts.

Chouinard is an activist artist who is known for her poignant reused, repurposed and recycled work that centers on domestic violence and child abuse. Her new work for this exhibit will be a quilted triptych portraying three different stages of a family’s struggle with violence in their home.

Cambridge Center for the Arts has selected Chouinard’s work for a solo show during the month of March. A public opening is scheduled for Friday, March 1, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Every 9 seconds in the U.S., a woman is assaulted or beaten. The United States Office on Violence Against Women defines domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.”

Women are not the only victims of domestic violence. Research suggests that in an estimated 30 to 60 percent of the families experiencing domestic violence that child maltreatment has also been identified.

“I am honored to be chosen by Cambridge Center for the Arts for this show,” Chouinard said. “As an activist artist and survivor of child abuse, I use my work as a catalyst to convey truth, increase awareness to help prevent family violence. I try to encourage new ways of thinking by illuminating hidden family secrets and hopefully daring to make a difference.”

Chouinard lives and creates her art in Cambridge, where she has been an artist for more than 18 years. She received her BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and is a 2012 Bush Fellow and a recent 2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative recipient.

Chouinard’s new work was funded in part by funds from the East Central Regional Arts Council with a grant provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.