K12 Gallery & TEJAS is currently working on our 2nd annual community art project called SOS: Signs of Suicide II.

SOS: Signs of Suicide II
SOS II is a suicide prevention campaign which uses visual art and literature to shine a light on the epidemic of suicide.  Created by local artists, staff, volunteers and teens participating in K12 Gallery & TEJAS's Artist in Training (AIT) After School Art Program, the SOS imagery works to dispel myths and inform the public about facts associated with suicide among young people aged 13-25.  As a year-long campaign, the exhibition featuring thirty 4 foot by 8 foot paintings will travel to local schools, universities, libraries and community centers to educate students and the general public about the signs of suicide. 

The SOS II traveling exhibition will premier in October 2017 when it will be on display at K12 Gallery & TEJAS from October 6-28, 2017.

Our opening reception on Friday, October 6, 2017 will invite the public to view the exhibition while enjoying refreshments.  There will be a brief presentation from 7:00 - 7:30 p.m. which will feature project participants who will share personal stories of how art and literature can be healing resources.  

The goal of the SOS project is to create awareness and a visual voice for the subject of suicide, often referred to as a silent epidemic.  It is often through visual imagery that thoughts and feelings can be expressed where words cannot.   

K12 Gallery & TEJAS is coordinating this unique assembly of artistic expression to attempt to show the varied components one might feel in contemplating this desperate act, as well as a view from those who try to understand.  Our purpose is to expand the discussion so that those drawn to the darkness of isolation might find hope in light portrayed not only by the artists, but also through the discussion of resources available to help those affected by the signs of despair.

Suicide is a public health crisis with over 20,000 victims in Ohio over the past 15 years, nearly triple the number of homicide victims.  In Ohio, suicide has claimed over 1,100 teens since 2,000.  Ohio mirrors the national average at nearly 13 deaths per 100,000.  In its 2011 Youth Risk Behavioral Report for Ohio, the Center for Disease Control reported that one in seven Ohio students said they had "seriously considered suicide" in the past 12 months.  Slightly more than one in seven had actually "made a plan" in that time. Additionally, one in eleven Ohio students reported "attempting suicide one or more times in the past 12 months", nearly 50 percent higher than the national average.  According to the Suicide Prevention Center, 80% of all people who die by suicide exhibit definite warning signs.  For youth, 82-85% actually told someone, most often a friend, that they were thinking about suicide.  Therefore, knowing the warning signs of suicide, knowing what to do to help a suicidal individual, and knowing where to go for additional help could stop the majority of suicides from actually happening.

If interested in hosting the panels at your school or organization, please contact: 

Rebecca Sargent, Program Director at rebecca@k12tejasgallery.org.

This is made possible through the generous support of the Physician's Charitable Trust Fund.