photo: As part of the special day of healing art, Eleonora Zampetti conducted the yoga class, for the participants in the Ode to the Moon Yoga program, proud warriors against domestic violence. She states, “As the art through 180’s Amanda Easel’s program has provided healing for the survivors of domestic violence, I found my healing in the practice of yoga, also an art form. I developed this program to bring that healing opportunity to others.”
RED BANK, NJ - On Sunday, January 25, Ode to the Moon Yoga and 180 Turning Lives Around (180) presented a day of healing therapy through art and yoga at Renaissance Pilates Studio in Red Bank. Area artists auctioned off works of art and the proceeds, along with those of a special Ode to the Moon Yoga class, were donated to180. Eleonora Zampatti, herself a domestic violence survivor, originated the monthly Ode to the Moon Yoga program to help other people caught in the cycle of abuse. Yoga was her salvation which she shares every new moon with the community in the hope of a new beginning.
Throughout the studio, Survivor Art (produced in the Amanda Easel program, a project of 180) was on display, powerfully crystallizing the reason for the gathering. That art, however, was not for sale and according to Amanda Easel Coordinator Cyndi Westendorf, “The Survivor’s Exhibit is a collective effort from many individuals who entrusted us to bring their story of intolerance for violence against women.”
At one recent workshop, Styrofoam mannequin heads were utilized which the women transformed into amazing poignant masterpieces. Each contained a written message from their creator of her struggle and eventual escape. One, in particular, depicted one female eye weeping, while the other was hidden behind a glittering heart; the head was draped in a headdress (one side black, the other a brilliant magenta) clasped at the neck by a beautiful butterfly.—showing the transformation from despair to love and promise of a new life.
Cyndi Westendorf explains, “We give our clients ordinary items and tell them to create what they want to tell the story of their journey. Their art speaks for them and provides an outlet for their emotions. So a window box is used to show how different things are looking out then looking in. Another workshop utilized shoes. One woman chose to paint her wedding shoes, once a symbol of such hope that didn’t quite turn out that way, but a symbol none-the-less that she survived. ”
Eleonora led the packed studio participants in an hour of healing yoga to the musical accompaniment of talented vocalist Allison LaRochelle and her sister, pianist Samantha La Rochelle (both from Middletown).
180’s Barbara Lovell-Napoli told the participants, “Eleonora has been an amazing vision for 180; she dared to take something dark in her life and make something beautiful. She hasn’t just raised funds for us but awareness; which is so important because some people still do not know who we are and what we do.”
She explained that Monmouth County has the highest rate of domestic violence in the state of New Jersey and is the number one cause for injury in women age 18 to 45. 180, Turning Lives Around, has aided Monmouth County’s victims of domestic violence for over 40 years.
She added, “What you are doing today makes an impact for so many others. I really believe we can envision a future without violence.”