Featuring artwork by survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence, this virtual gallery, To Live, is part of White Snake Projects’ A Survivor’s Odyssey Series on giving voice to survivors and their advocates. The title of our virtual exhibition, “To Live,” was selected  by our artists who view artmaking as a way of transcending trauma to reclaim their lives. The artworks in this exhibition are created by artists with wide ranging life experiences, as well as the shared experience of surviving and transcending sexual violence. Their artworks illustrate the breadth, depth and power of the imagination as a practice of liberation.


Carole Alden

Prison Fish embodies the despair I felt, having survived something horrific and preventing the deaths of my children and granddaughters, only to have the state do their best to destroy what was left of my life. They removed my identity, broke my health, and attempted to deny any efforts I made to contribute and be involved with society. Despite this, I persevered in creating pieces that were the antithesis to the state’s  removal of all color, texture, intellectual enrichment, and family from my life. Each piece was a subversive act. Many were confiscated  and destroyed. Prison Fish is one of a handful that survived.

I built this fiber sculpture as a visual guide to illustrate my plans for a full scale “Tiny House” trailer I will build and travel across the United States in as I exhibit my work. Architectural features will include solar panels built into the fins, stained glass eye windows, and a computer generates exterior lighting system designed to mimic the bioluminescence found in deep sea fish. The open floor plan and loft will provide close to 400 square feet. While parked, the mouth opens to add additional deck space with flower boxes and a fire pit. Inside work space includes a computer graphics station as well as a sewing area. Storage space within the trailer base will house the solar batteries and water tanks. It will be a family project.

Artist Bio: Carole is an architectural crochet artist who contributed her sculpture, “Prison Fish” as the key art for A Survivor’s Odyssey.  She was incarcerated in 2006 for an act committed in self-defense after severe domestic violence. She served 13 years in prison, where she created art against all odds, developing her whimsical wildlife sculptures as well as a body of work that reflects experiences of women dealing with domestic violence and the legal system. [READ MORE]

Artist Portfolio




Taecia Prows

Taecia mailed her artwork to White Snake Projects from the prison where she is incarcerated in response to our Call for Artists.


The endgame is always the same: addition, more violence, and incarceration. What is most curious to me is the amount of awareness “corrections” understands while maintaining an interchangeable & substitutable dominion and power mindset against us women. And the cycle continues…

No one falls in love with a monster- at least not at first. I fell in love with the ideal-of-love mask he wore…


Cedar Annenkovna

Cedar mailed her artwork to White Snake Projects from the prison where she is incarcerated in response to our Call for Artists. Please note, this piece incurred noticeable damage in transit, specifically, the dehydrated coffee used as paint rehydrated from the humidity. We have done our best to restore the image digitally. 


My heart is rendered in half semicolon pieces in my hands. A train engine steamrolling through my hollow chest reflects this feeling, and it intends to display solidarity with those of similar experience. 

Contraband materials: paint brushes made from my own hair, tinctures of dehydrated coffee, of deconstructed red and blue pencils, taped together paper lunch sack canvas, discarded items used to exemplify beauty emerging from what is considered trash, including people. 

Artist Bio: We are not a throwaway people. This is not a throwaway world. If we can reimagine trash, use alternatives, stop making non-biodegradable single-use materials we might partake in a vibrant future, sustainable for all species of life on Earth. Instead of throwing people away in already overpopulated prisons, therapy and counseling could be offered as viable means of rehabilitation. Regarding people who have been damaged by pain and trauma we can offer comfort and understanding versus condemnation and ostracizing. Ultimately love is the means and measure to heal all forms of suffering. Love is reciprocity; care being taken, given, and demonstrated towards all forms of life, including each other.

Artist Portfolio


Zhi Kai Vanderford

Zhi mailed his artwork to White Snake Projects from the prison where he is incarcerated in response to our Call for Artists.


Artist Bio: Zhi Kai Hoffman Vanderford has been incarcerated 54 years in the wrong body (transmale/ becoming male) and 35 consecutive years between California, Oklahoma, and Minnesota women’s prisons.

If you like the art you see, then IMAGINE WHAT YOU ARE CENSORED FROM. Currently, his ART IS BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS deemed contraband, HIPAA violations and marked for destruction. What goes into prison is censored, but the public should get a choice. Art confiscated for this exhibit depicted phalluses being turned into pigs because Circe was gang raped and turned men into pigs. “Who decides?” showed an 88-year-old inmate after years of imprisonment who had a stroke. She is more dangerous to herself than to society. The LGBTQIA+ art had nudity with ‘love’ in Braille, because “Love is Blind”. Taxpayers should be allowed to view prisoner art.

Artist Portfolio


Ruby Rumié

This project explores the pain shared by women who have endured domestic violence, identifies the damage this violence does to them, and recognizes the need for them to fully mourn in order to revive their self-esteem. The participants joined Ms. Rumié in intimate ceremonies of meditation and breathing exercises, after which, each woman exhaled her pain into a ceramic vessel, as a symbol of recognizing, releasing, and transforming her silent pain into divine breath. The goal was to collectively create a positive and transformative experience for the women.

Read more about the exhibition here: https://www.artealdia.com/News/RUBIE-RUMIE-DIVINE-BREATH-NYC

Artist Bio: Born in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), Ruby Rumié focuses her art on social issues such as gentrification, domestic violence, social barriers, and the ennobling of culture whose roots are in local communities. She currently lives and works in Cartagena, Colombia.


Annie Chang

“Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes” Proverbs 6:25. Using texture, vivid colors, and brushstrokes, Annie’s work encompasses metaphors derived from consuming vices.

Hey sorry about last night, I didn’t mean to be such a guy I’m just really attracted to you…
I want to show you something
Have fun sucking dick in Chicago
It feels all the same for girls anyways 

…and then was born a feminist 

Using texture, vivid colors, and brushstrokes, this work encompasses metaphors derived from consuming vices. 

Artist Bio: Annie Chang is an intersectional feminist who utilizes the creative process to inform her approach as an interdisciplinary artist and art therapist. As an interdisciplinary artist, she is able to offer many approaches to the creative process. Sometimes that involves utilizing materials and sometimes that involves a conversation and creative uses of metaphor and self-reflection.

Artist Portfolio


Catriona Baker

Every Two Minutes

The animation Every Two Minutes, is based on the 2013 CDC statistic on sexual assault, the most updated statistic at the making of the film.  This number grossly underrepresents the percentage of sexual assaults in the United States since sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes and one met with bias in the court system. The animation is textured by a page from a 1975 encyclopedia. The page contains the definition of rape when it was considered a crime if perpetuated against one “other than one’s wife” because she was viewed as property of the husband. 

The images, in the animation “Every Two Minutes,” were created from one of Baker’s altered books, each tree being carved from a page in the book. The book itself is too fragile to be experienced by the viewer so Baker digitized the book and created an animation that would maintain the essence of paper, transporting the viewer into the fantastical world of fairy tale.

The Interactive installation of 720 books, Stories Not Told; made in part by the Mass Cultural Council, as well as Margarita Muniz School, Maynard High School, Lesley Art and Design students, with the help of my Studio Producer, Vivian Dao, visually symbolize the statistical number of assaults from Every Two Minutes. Each book contains 120 pages, 30 single pieces of paper sewn together, symbolizing an hour of assaults. The title stems from the knowledge that sexual assault survivors are often shamed into silence, because societal norms and fear prevent them from sharing their story, which can perpetuate feelings of being victimized. The books in my interactive installation have been deliberately left blank so that survivors may anonymously share their stories by writing in the books if they desire, hopefully regaining ownership and control of their own narratives.

Artist Bio: Catriona Baker is an Assistant Professor and Chair of Animation and Motion Media at Lesley Art and Design.  She is an animator, book artist, and painter.  She researches fairy tales as they relate to the complexities of everyday life such as marriage, abandonment, abuse, friendship, and death. Other work focuses on issues of social justice such as sexual assault, domestic violence, female empowerment, immigration and factory farming. Her work explores visual consistency between traditional mediums and digital processes.  Catriona holds a BA degree from Mount Holyoke College in Studio Art: printmaking, a BFA degree from Maine College of Art in painting and an MFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania in animation and painting.  She has been awarded numerous grants for her projects, and her works have been shown nationally in galleries as well as private and corporate collections. Her animations have received national and international accolades that include an International Platinum Pixie award and two International CINDY (Cinema in Industry) awards.


Tashi Farmilo-Marouf

Upside Down is entitled that because I accidentally started painting on the wrong side of the watercolour paper. I continued the piece till the end, nonetheless, even though the saturation was not ideal. Life is full of accidents.

The Flow is a watercolour done on a wood panel. It was an experiment to see how the watercolour would interact with wood instead of paper.

Along the Path is a painting of a wintery forest. Sometimes we can’t see where the path is leading, yet we walk along it as it unfolds before us.

Divorced, is from a series of florals I did that explore emotions through nature. Each piece is a complex mix of emotions that show through line and colour.

Artist Bio: I am a survivor of domestic violence. I was in an abusive marriage for 14 years before I was able to escape with my five children and two suitcases. It was terrifying leaving but it was much more terrifying to stay. I am very thankful that we were able to get out and that my children are finally safe. It’s a blessing to be free. I describe my artistic style as Expressionism. Art is magic; it speaks without voice. I make an effort to convey a sense of emotion and feeling in my work. I am most often inspired by a place, event or an experience that has struck me in some way – and creativity is the mode for which I translate those experiences externally through whatever medium speaks to me. 

Artist Portfolio


A Window Between Worlds

The Touchstone Tree was created by individuals impacted by violence and trauma in collaboration with Cathy Salser, founder of A Window Between Worlds. The tree represents the power of coming together as a community and art as a catalyst for change.

Leaders and participants each envisioned what they are moving “from” and “toward” to transform trauma for themselves and in their communities. For each stone they created to carry with them, they created one for the tree — an inspiration to others to create their own touchstones of change.

Participants were from domestic violence support services, sexual assault agencies, homeless shelters, veteran’s programs, substance abuse treatment centers and schools.

We share this video below, and the tree mural, as an invitation for all who see it to take a moment to reflect and notice their own journey of transformation, and to be connected in that journey.