Out of The Silence - memos & memes from a generation who will be silent no more

Information about the project
from Sally Penley, "Out of The Silence" Project Lead

Project Description

The “Out of The Silence” exhibit comprises 58 pieces of calligraphic fine art created by some of the world’s best calligraphers.  Content and inspiration for the art is based on Steve Schalchlin’s song lyrics, quotes from "Bill's Story," impactful quotes by some of the young people we’ve lost to suicide, quotes from other LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) youth, and others. 

Artists were selected at the International Calligraphy Conference, which took place in Portland, Oregon, in late June 2012.  The art was created during the remainder of 2012 and “Out of The Silence” opened  February 1, 2013, at The Urban Onion in downtown Olympia, Washington.

"There were tears in the eyes of patrons at the opening, and their conversations expressed awe and solidarity. I expected to read powerful words, and I expected flowery and perhaps overly sweet lettering of these words. My expectations were totally off the mark. Yes, some of the calligraphy is a little too sweet and decorative for my taste, but much more of it is visually astonishing. This is not just fine craft, it is fine art; it is not just pretty lettering, it is words presented as design with beautiful use of color and texture and composition and inventive uses of materials. It's not just pretty writing; there are paintings, a quilt, and hand-made books." — Alec Clayton, February 6, 2013, Weekly Volcano, Calligraphic art exhibit "Out of the Silence" promotes dialogue. Read the complete review here. 

Following a two-month run in Olympia, the show is travelling to the University Of Washington Law School in Seattle and continue to spread the word. At the end of the show's travels, in June 2013, the original art will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to Pizza Klatch, a high school support program for LGBT youth.





 Download the poster (pictured left) for the show at University Of Washington Law School here in pdf format.




Purpose Support – Educate – Advocate. Build awareness. Move people to action!

The main purpose of the exhibit is to deliver a message of hope—hope for a better future that celebrates diversity and equal rights for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.  Some of the messages may seem negative on the surface, but the intention is to raise awareness about the issues of bullying, teen suicide and gay rights.  People leaving the exhibit should feel moved to action and want to continue the dialogue about the plight of these young people.

Additionally, the exhibit should send a clear message to LGBT youth that they are not alone.  When they see these messages, many of which probably reflect their own thoughts and feelings, they should feel a sense of hope and purpose.  They will see that they are part of a larger inclusive community and that they are accepted for who/what they are.  They will know someone cares.

Thus, the target audience for this exhibit is two-fold:  the general public, especially the “fence sitters” who haven’t been close enough to the issues to understand or be impacted by them; and the young LGBT population about whom the show is designed to support.

Out of The Silence Exhibit The Art Gallery

"Out of The Silence" is a calligraphic art exhibit intended to promote a dialogue about the issues of bullying and hate crimes against LGBTQ youth who are committing suicide at an alarming rate. Thirty-nine calligraphers from across the U.S. and Canada have selected impactful messages and quotes to create 58 pieces of powerful art. Some of the messages address the issues, and others promote love, self-worth and hope.

We hope you enjoy the art in our 'Out of The Silence' gallery which you can view all the art and purchase prints and cards.

All proceeds from the sale of the original art and prints/cards on this website will go to support Pizza Klatch. Pizza Klatch was started in 2007 because of the increasing number of suicides of kids in Thurston County, Washington, who were gay or thought to be gay. PK offers weekly lunchtime support groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth and their allies. They provide free pizza, two trained facilitators for each group, and a convenient and safe forum for discussion and education. Currently, there are 11 Pizza Klatch groups. The proceeds from this exhibit will help the program expand to other communities. For more information about Pizza Klatch and its goals, visit www.pizzaklatch.org

Background — Bill's Story

And finally, here is the story of Bill Clayton, who took his life after a gay bashing at the age of 17, written by his mother, Gabi. It was Bill's story that brought us all together and inspired us to create this project.

Here's Steve Schalchlin playing "Gabi's Song," which he wrote as part of "New World Waking" and performed on John Lennon's Imagine piano:


Reviews, Articles, Blog Posts, etc.

Out of the Silence
by Alec Clayton, The Weekly Volcano - February 7, 2013

Clayton on Art: Capital letter art
by Alec Clayton, Weekly Volcano's Spew Blog - February 5, 2013

An exhibit of hope - Calligraphic works celebrate the lives and struggles of LGBT teens
by Eric Andrews-Katz, Seattle Gay News (SGN) A&E Writer - February 15, 2013

Art exhibit offers hope for LGBT youth - YAY: SALLY PENLEY
The Olympian - February 18, 2013

Seed Planting.
by Steve Schalchlin, Living In The Bonus Round - February 19, 2013

The Project Team
  Sally Penley Overall Project Lead    
  Jaki Svaren    Calligraphy Sage, project planning    
  Lynn Grotsky Pizza Klatch Administrator    
  Gabi & Alec Clayton Project Guides, with links to local and national organizations    
  Steve Schalchlin Songwriter Extraordinaire; assistance with quote/lyrics selection    

Contact Sally Penley if you'd like more information about the “Out of The Silence” exhibit & project.

Email: info@outofthesilence.us or use the contact form.

Snail mail:
"Out of the Silence” c/o Sally Penley

P.O. Box 7367
Olympia, WA 98507

Thank you!
We really appreciate your support.
The Project Team—Sally, Jaki, Lynn, Steve, Gabi & Alec

Out of The Silence is on Facebook!

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