What you experience in different facts of the Illuminations Program is the aftermath of the victimization of a child. The background story is not so unusual. This was a family. Both parents worked with the hope of a good life and financial security. Like many marriages theirs was suffering under the weight of personal and interpersonal stress. The children, aware as children often are of what is happening between their parents, endured their own stresses. They used art in direct and indirect ways to give voice to both their dreams and their struggles. In the middle school years they attended a day camp where they met a friendly, understanding adult counselor who wanted to help. He befriended first one then the other child and then the parents. As their trust deepened, the boundaries between being a helper and an abuser blurred and then disappeared. The life of a family came to an end. The lives of three members of the family also came to an end. The deaths of J and his big brother, some time after the completion of these works of art, only deepens their importance and the importance of what J wanted to accomplish with and through them.
You, the viewer, are the actual inspiration for J’s artwork and this program which has been built around it. Aware of the lack of understanding about victimization…of the victimization of children….of the victimization a person’s sexuality he wanted to give voice to his insight born of experience.