Art installation draws attention to violence against women

pairs of red shoes on ground
Elina Chauvet's 'Red Shoe Project' will be at the DeVos Center October 21, drawing attention to violence against women.
Image credit - courtesy photo

With direction from Mexican artist Elina Chauvet, the campus community is invited to join an art installation that denounces violence against women by placing a pair of red shoes with a message to honor a victim of violence or trafficking.

The "Red Shoe Project — Zapatos Rojos" will be held Saturday, October 21, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. in the DeVos Center courtyard on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. The event is sponsored by Modern Languages and Literatures, as well as many other campus departments, community partners and organizations.

Zulema Moret, professor of Spanish, said participants will place a pair of painted red shoes at the venue, then Chauvet will invite people to write messages that honor women who were injured or killed due to violence or kidnapped for trafficking. Moret said this project was created for a course she is teaching, Art and Society in Latin America. 

Chauvet's first Red Shoes installation was in 2009 in Juárez, Mexico, to raise awareness of the number of women and girls who went missing. The project has since been in six locations in Mexico, Texas and Italy.

In collaboration with the installation, two panel discussions about violence against women are planned for October 23-24; Chauvet will appear at both events.

• October 23, 7-9 p.m., DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium: panelists are Grand Valley faculty members Anna Campbell, Wendy Burns-Ardolino and Sebastian Massiel; Grand Valley Center for Women and Gender Equity director Jessica Jennrich; and community members Shannon Cohen and Tara Aday.

• October 24, 7-9 p.m., Catholic Information Center, 360 Division Ave. in Grand Rapids: panelists are from five community members and connected to area health, religious and Hispanic organizations. This event will be presented in Spanish.

More information is online at





Sign up and receive the latest Grand Valley headlines delivered to your email inbox each morning.