By Larry Stanford
CONYERS – Atlanta Redemption Ink (ARI) hosted a unique afternoon of hope and restoration through the arts on Saturday.
The event, held at (e)station on Commercial Street in Conyers, featured a variety of artistic media done by survivors of sex trafficking, former self-harmers, recovered addicts, and survivors of domestic and gang violence who are thriving in their recovery and are stripping the labels once placed on them.
ARI is a local 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to restore dignity to survivors of exploitation, trauma and abuse by turning marks of hurt into hope and recovery.
Jessica Lamb of Conyers started ARI in 2017 after experiencing her own trauma and abuse. She wants to reach out to help others in similar situations find some measure of relief through tattoo removals and covers.
ARI assists recovered self-harmers, women/minors with sex trafficking brandings (forced tattoos by traffickers marking them as property), gang/hate tattoos, and domestic violence scars/burns. ARI connects survivors with partnered and trusted tattoo artists to assist in the tattoo removals and covers.
The art show was a fundraiser to support ARI and its mission. Different types of art were on display, and there was music, poetry, and an open mic for those who wanted to share their stories.
Lamb said it was inspiring to see survivors expressing themselves through their art.
“It was really cool to see a room of people being creative,” said Lamb. “It was just simply beautiful to see the community come and be a part of this event.”