Angela Mackey and her daughter Annabelle look at a domestic violence awareness art installation unveiled Tuesday at Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Angela Mackey and her daughter Annabelle look at a domestic violence awareness art installation unveiled Tuesday at Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Advocates celebrates 30 years with art installation in Steamboat Springs

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— An art installation unveiled Tuesday evening at Yampa Valley Medical Center is a simple concept meant to symbolize a complex issue.

When Diane Moore looks at the flock of 7,000 paper doves hanging from the ceiling at Yampa Valley Medical Center, the Advocates Building Peaceful Communities executive director remembers many stories of courage and resiliency. Each of the doves represent a victim who has been served by Advocates in its 30 years in existence.

“This is really about honoring them,” said Moore, who has headed the organization since its inception.

A reception was held Tuesday to celebrate Advocates and to bring attention to domestic violence. October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“The idea was to raise awareness with art and to celebrate survivors,” Moore said.

The art installation titled “Bent Doves Flying” was conceived and constructed by Steamboat Springs artist Kim Keith. The dove is the logo of Advocates, and purple is the color of domestic violence awareness.

Keith donated her time for the project, and Advocates, a nonprofit organization, bought the materials.

Keith started the dove folding on her own at the beginning of summer, but it quickly turned into a community effort.

“I folded the first 1,200 on my own, and it was like, ‘I need help,’” Keith said.

Dozens of people in the community spent time this summer helping with the project.

“All these little folding circles started happening,” Keith said.

The Mainstreet Steamboat Springs organization led by Tracy Barnett folded about 2,000 doves. A group of about 40 women from the Steamboat Christian Center also helped.

Keith strung the doves from a wire, and a crystal teardrop at the bottom of each strand shimmers in the sunlight.

“The doves are a visual opportunity to honor those who have died and to celebrate those who have survived,” Moore said.

The installation will be in place at YVMC for two or three months. After that, Moore said they are considering moving it, or parts of it, to other places in the community to further raise awareness.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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