May 19, 2017
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Press Contact: Rebecca Marsie, Communications Associate
860.443.2545 x112 / [email protected]


New London – In celebration of Safe Future’s 40th anniversary, the New London-based organization will be mounting an exhibition in Lyman Allyn’s Glassenberg Gallery, titled In Their Shoes. The interactive exhibition, using art, poetry, music and dance as forms of expression, springs from the question, “how can a pair of shoes or 170 pairs of shoes bring awareness and hope to the survivors of domestic violence?”  It will be on view from June 2 through July 30, 2017.

In Their Shoes is the latest exhibition in Lyman Allyn’s Near :: New contemporary series. Artists, Pamela Pike Gordinier & Julia Pavone, have created an installation using the demographics of 170 women, men and children who received emergency care at Safe Futures shelter within the past year. For each survivor, a new pair of shoes has been collected and used as a metaphor for awareness and change.

As in the Wizard of Oz or the tale of Cinderella, shoes are often a symbol for transformation and hope. In this installation the shoes will be arranged in a labyrinth within the gallery, acting as a vehicle for contemplation of the urgent need to eliminate the sometimes hidden societal menace that Safe Futures has been addressing for decades.  Once the exhibit closes, all the shoes will be donated to Safe Futures for distribution in the community.

Featured in the exhibition will be an archway, designed by Gordinier and Pavone, made from the shoeboxes and artifacts left behind at the emergency shelter. Visible from the gallery entrance, it will be a focal point of the exhibit. In addition, two videos will be on view. The first asks the question “What do you hope for?”, and incorporates survivors’ responses to this question. There will be an area in the gallery where visitors are encouraged to include their own written responses to the same question. The other short film, created by Connecticut College students and titled “Out of the Shadows,” explores the hidden world of what happens to a victim of domestic violence through interpretive dance. The idea for this film was conceived by Pam Gordinier and produced with collaborators: Erika Martin, choreographer and dancer; Will Platt, composer and musician; Emily Green, videographer and lighting, Claire Raizen, cello; and Julianna Goldfluss, voice.

The following programs will be held at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in conjunction with the exhibition. For further details about programming for In Their Shoes, please visit

Wednesday, June 7th │ 5-7PM:  Artist talk, debut of the “Out of the Shadows” dance and a presentation by staff members from Safe Futures.
Wednesday, June 28th│ 5-7PM:  Dance performance by L’Ana Burton and musician, Glenn Hardy, and a poetry reading by Lana Orphanides, Edwina Trentham, John L. Stanizzi, and Rhonda Ward.

The opening reception will be on Thursday, June 1 from 5:00 – 7:00pm. Museum members are free and non-members are $10. Please RSVP to 860.443.2545 ext. 129.
The exhibition is open to the public beginning Friday, June 2. Museum admission is always free to all New London residents.

For more information or to request images, please contact Rebecca Marsie at 860.443.2545, ext. 112 or at [email protected].

About Safe Futures
Founded in 1976 as the Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut, Safe Futures began as an information and referral service for women entering the workforce. Today, Safe Futures operates two 24-hour hotlines, an emergency shelter, and a transitional living program for families working to rebuild lives shattered by domestic violence or sexual assault. Safe Futures also provides counseling and advocacy, case management, court advocacy, support groups, and educational programs for school and community groups. For more information, please visit their website.

About the Lyman Allyn Art Museum
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut and all over the world. Established in 1926 by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents a number of changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses.

The museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 129 or visit us on Facebook or the web at:

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