Joanne Van Genderen

“Beware of artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous."— Queen Victoria

Workshops and Classes


May Sarton Quote
5 x 5 inches

Artististic response to “What I Will” (by Suheir Hammad)
Excerpt: "I will not dance to your drum. I will not lend my soul nor my bones to your war drum.I will not dance to your beating. I know that beat. It is lifeless…"
11 x 14 in.
acrylic, found images on paper

Wait…What (2018)
Mixed Media Collage
20 x 14 inches

Don’t Stereotype Me (2014)
Photography, found objects, magazine images, fabric, on board
20 x 15 inches

Human trafficking occurs when someone uses force, fraud, or coercion to control other people and profit from them through labor or sexual exploitation. While women and girls from all walks of life (as well as boys) are vulnerable, a subset of individuals are at higher risk. These include homeless or runaway youth; those living in poverty; individuals who have experienced violence and trauma in the past (such as sexual, physical or emotional abuse); youth coming from homes where substance abuse or domestic violence is prevalent; individuals with disabilities; children living in foster care; LGBTQ youth; and foreign nationals. It is essential that we educate our youth about how to protect themselves against human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

The Advocate (2015)
acrylic, prints, found images
36 x 26 inches

This piece was inspired by all of the caseworkers, social workers, law enforcement agents, and volunteers who collaborated with me on this project. These advocates persevere despite consistently bearing witness to the atrocities people suffer at the hands of traffickers and predators. Patience, courage, and empathy are characteristic strengths of these heroic individuals. They non-judgmentally help survivors piece their lives back together.

Language Barriers (2015)
photographs, found images, acrylic 29 x 24 inches

Embedded in this collage are phrases in languages other than English that are imagined to be spoken by foreign national victims of human trafficking during the interview process with law enforcement. The semi-hidden faces within this collage represent the insidious nature of human trafficking. The postage stamps are representative of the great distance victims are from their homeland.

For My Tahitian Daughters
(by Joanne Van Genderen in response to Gauguin’s mythical Tahiti)
You are free to wake to the morning sun and soak in its golden warmth;
to swim the to the multicolored corals lying just beneath the glimmering sea;
to dance with full-bodied abandon to the music of the conch shell.
You are free form an outlander’s licentious vision of paradise.
11 x 14 in.
acrylic, found images on paper

Trauma (2015)
torn paper, found images, mesh, acrylic
26 x 20 inches

Trauma informed services, such as those used to support survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence, are especially appropriate when working with individuals who have been trafficked. The emotional effects of trauma can be persistent and devastating. Survivors of human trafficking may suffer from anxiety, panic disorder, major depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders as well a combination of these. Physical health problems can also result from the trauma of physical injury or indirectly through stress-related illnesses. Trauma informed practices lead to positive sustainable outcomes for survivors of human trafficking.

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