“It Happened” features local and national artists who create work on the issue of sexual violence. These works, some including very personal stories, address the reality of rape and sexual assault on university campuses, at K-12 schools, and in communities regionally, nationally and around the world. This exhibition has been scheduled at the beginning of the school year because it is the period with the highest incidence of sexual assault and rape.

“Our aim is to create a space for dialogue and new perspectives on this damaging subject with a desire to stop the behavior,” say the exhibition’s curators, Katina Bitsicas, assistant teaching professor in the University of Missouri Department of English, and Lee Ann Woolery, MU Extension state community arts specialist.

Exhibition dates: Monday, Aug. 28-Thursday, Sept. 21, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Location: George Caleb Bingham Gallery, A126 Fine Arts Center (corner of Hitt St. and University Ave.), University of Missouri-Columbia campus.

Opening reception: Thursday, Aug. 31, 5-7 p.m., George Caleb Bingham Gallery, MU campus.

Exhibiting artists include Luzene Hill, Traci Molloy, Melissa Kreider, Taylor Yocom, Quintan Ana Wikswo, Ricardo Santos Hernandez, Jillian Dickson, Maura McHugh, Shannon May Mackenzie, Photovoice, Taylor Bailey, Haley Bordelon, Jordan Keller, Naeun Park, Jenny Brandt, Courtney Luer, Katina Bitsicas and Lee Ann Woolery.

Artist talk: Tuesday, Aug. 29, 3:30-5:30 p.m., 101 Swallow Hall, MU campus. Photographer Melissa Kreider will speak about her body of work: “Remnants: an investigation of the realities of sexual and domestic assault.”

Curator tour: Katina Bitsicas and Lee Ann Woolery, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 4-5 p.m., George Caleb Bingham Gallery, MU campus.

Sponsor talk: Wednesday, Sept. 13, 5:30-7 p.m., Allen Auditorium, 110 Arts and Science Building, MU campus. Speakers: Danica Wolf, director, MU RSVP Center; Abigail Rolbiecki, director of Photovoice project; and others to be announced.

The statistics say that:

  • One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (National Sexual Violence Resource Center).
  • Twenty-three percent of undergraduate women are sexually assaulted while in college (Association of American Universities, 2015).
  • One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 (National Sexual Violence Resource Center).

Sexual violence is a public issue:

  • Annually, rape costs the U.S. more than any other crime ($127 billion), followed by assault ($93 billion), murder ($71 billion) and drunk driving ($61 billion) (National Sexual Violence Resource Center).

Visit the exhibition to learn the personal stories that will move you beyond the statistics and connect you with real people and the impact of sexual violence on their lives and in our schools and communities.

For more information on speakers and events during the monthlong exhibition, go to, or contact Woolery at or Bitsicas at


MU Digital Storytelling Program; MU Extension; MU Department of Art’s George Caleb Bingham Gallery; MU Women and Gender Studies Program; MU Office for Civil Rights & Title IX; MU School of Social Work; MU Women’s Center; MU RSVP Center; and MU Counseling Center.