Deadlocked and Loaded: Disarming America

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Holly Ballard Martz

constellation of transgressions (thoughts and prayers)

2019, Encaustic and spent bullet primers on panel, 36 x 48 inches each

The constellation of transgressions series is a memorialization of the extraordinary number of lives lost to gun violence in the United States. We talk about things being “written in the stars” as a way to describe the inevitable, but the astounding proliferation of firearms and the resulting deaths need not be our fate. Rather than enact meaningful legislation to reduce the number of lives ended by guns, our elected officials repeatedly offer their thoughts and prayers. In response to their inaction, I painstakingly embedded approximately 14,000 spent bullet primers into wax, offering up my own prayer for change. hollyballardmartz.com @hballardmartz

Copyright 2021 by Karen Gutfreund Art. The book author and each artist here retains sole copyright to their contributions to this book. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without prior permission in writing from Karen Gutfreund Art and the individual artists. ISBN: 9798704494096 Catalog designed, organized and edited by Karen M. Gutfreund, www.KarenGutfreund.com, @karengutfreundart Cover designed by: Rozanne Hermelyn Di Silvestro, Arc and Line Communication and Design www.arcadline.com, https://wordpress.hermelyn.com and @blackroze_art

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INTRO from the Curator Karen M. Gutfreund

What does America value? Life or Liberty? Deadlocked and Loaded: Disarming America is a “locked and loaded” conversation through art, showcasing work in all media, that addresses our culture of violence and gun issues in the United States—particularly in how it affects women, children, and marginalized peoples.

Our gun culture, systemic racism, toxic masculinity, police brutality and the rise of white supremacy in America, are undeniably urgent issues that cannot be avoided or ignored. Polarized, political times call for political, activist art and I am grateful for the opportunity to showcase these artists. Through my curatorial practice, I promote and support local, national, and global art activism. I believe that the artist’s voice can help to foster important dialogues and inspire others to add their voice. Given our volatile political climate, with the normalization of white nationalism and derisive rhetoric inciting violence, the last four years have made it clear there is a new urgency to address the root causes dividing our country. Our troubling complacency to mass shootings—at schools, churches and public spaces, shootings involving the police, and “stand your ground” ideology—underscore our collective responsibility to come together for the health and wellbeing of our country, communities, our families, and ourselves. From a feminist perspective with work from 36 self-identified female artists, this exhibition is showcased at ArtRage, the Community Folk Art Center and Point of Contact galleries. It is a visual testimony—combining lived experiences, memory, identity, and beliefs— documenting societal issues related to our culture of violence and systemic racism, crafting narratives blending art, activism, and a cry for social justice to amplify the voices of those who have been historically silenced.

Deadlocked and Loaded: Disarming America reflects this important cultural moment with art that shouts, “enough is enough” and speaks

truth to power. This exhibition is meant to “disarm”—a double entendre—not only removing guns from society and those that would seek to harm, but more importantly, to be disarming to the viewer to engender empathy and compassion to the aftermath and consequences of said violence. Art can be beautiful. It can be ugly and hard to look at. Art, however, is not just about depicting beauty, but rather encapsulating and expressing the artists experience and perspective into a visual form. It leads not to one conclusion, but rather stimulates our subconscious and emotions, that may move us to alter our perceptions and viewpoints. This exhibition seeks to engage viewers to listen to each other and collectively seek solutions. Art is a mirror we can hold up to look at ourselves. When we authentically come together, we are empowered to create community and facilitate positive change. We can alter the social narrative though art—it can influence the way we think and act as individuals, and as a society. We need the conversations and the action that follow to build bridges to a more peaceable union that has the foundation of justice for all. A big thank you to Rose Viviano and Kim McCoy at ArtRage Gallery and their generous sponsors, Dr. Tanisha Jackson at the Community Folk Art Center and Sara Felice at Point of Contact Gallery for hosting my exhibition. And an even bigger thank you to the artists, whose beautiful and sometimes painful works speak to these issues and cry out for change. Thank you for being on this journey with me to make a difference through art and activism.

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Point of Contact Gallery Punto de Contacto/Point of Contact, Inc., a New York-based arts organization in residence at Syracuse University, creates opportunities for the exploration of diversity and the exchange of ideas through the verbal and visual arts. Working with the Central New York communities, as well as state -wide and international institutions and individuals, Point of Contact is a collaborative, cross -disciplinary forum where artists, writers, scholars and students actively engage in the production of publications, art exhibitions and events to enrich the cultural mix of our society. Our organization aims to form inspired communities; to innovate through artistic concepts that may resonate locally and globally; to work expansively where intellectual and geographic boundaries are concerned, and to share the experience. Point of Contact, Inc. is a (501c3) tax-exempt organization. The organization’s headquarters are housed at Syracuse University’s Warehouse Building in downtown Syracuse. Point of Contact is supported by grants from Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Coalition of Museum & Art Centers at Syracuse University (CMAC), and the New York State Council on the Arts. Point of Contact is managed by the Office of Cultural Engagement for the Hispanic Community in the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. puntopoint.org @pointofcontactgallery

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Community Folk Art Center, Inc. (CFAC) Community Folk Art Center, Incorporated (CFAC) was founded in 1972 by the late Herbert T. Williams, a professor in the African American Studies Department, in collaboration with other Syracuse University faculty and students, as well as local artists and Syracuse city residents. The primary motivation and objective for the establishment of CFAC was to provide a high quality showcase for African Diasporan artists, creating a setting for dialogue and interaction among emerging, mid-career and professional artists, in Central New York. In addition to Williams, CFAC founders include Shirley Harrison, Jack White, George Campbell Jr., Mary Schmidt Campbell, David MacDonald, and Basheer Alim. CFAC planted its roots in a small storefront on the corner of South Salina Street and Wood Avenue, then relocated to a converted auditorium on the East side, finally settling into our current space at 805 East Genesee Street, allowing us to function as a multidisciplinary community art center. Located in the heart of the Connective Corridor, we are proud of our position as a venue for a cross section of our community to gather in the spirit of creative expression. CFAC values our role as a vibrant cultural and artistic hub committed to the promotion and development of artists of the African Diaspora. CFAC’s mission is to exalt cultural and artistic pluralism by collecting, exhibiting, teaching and interpreting the visual and expressive arts. Public programming includes exhibitions, film screenings, gallery talks, workshops and courses in studio and performing arts. A proud unit of the African American Studies Department at Syracuse University, CFAC is a beacon of artistry, creativity and cultural expression engaging the Syracuse community, the region and the world. Community based collaborations and partnerships are just one of the many ways we support and connect with members of the greater Syracuse community and Central New York as well as area colleges and universities. Vibrant communities require accessible cultural resources. Community Folk Art Center was founded as a Center for "community folk." Community-based arts organizations have long contributed to the revitalization of neighborhoods and CFAC continues that tradition through exhibits and programming that creates an open and welcome environment for community interaction and collaboration. CFAC is a proud member of Syracuse University Coalition of Museum and Art Centers (CMAC) and Syracuse University Department of African American Studies. Partnerships are another key aspect of our community relations. We thank our past and current partners, including The Links Inc., The Office of Program Development-Syracuse University, La Casita-Syracuse University College of Arts & Sciences, Syracuse Stage, LeMoyne College, Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse City School District, among many others. We look forward to collaborating with partners in the region on many projects that support our mission and purpose. CommunityFolkArtCenter.org @communityfolkartcenter 6


ArtRage is no ordinary gallery.

ArtRage Gallery was founded in 2008 in Syracuse, NY with a mission to exclusively exhibit art with social justice and environmental themes. We are committed to breaking down the art world’s boundaries about who is welcome. We believe that everyone has the right to art and that art is essential to building an open, just world. Our vision for change is one that creates a community of open-minded, tolerant individuals with an appreciation for the inclusion of art in everyday life. We offer the community an experience through progressive exhibitions and programming so that people can see themselves in the work and then in one another. We exhibit art that cultivates critical thinking skills; leading to question the power structures that exist in our society and to imagine other ways of life. It is in that spirit of fostering critical thinking and change through art that we are proud to be working with guest curator Karen M. Gutfreund to mount this very important exhibition revolving around the issue of gun violence. Deadlocked and Loaded: Disarming America is one of the first collections of art that focuses on the need to take seriously the dangers of our culture of violence that we all face as citizens of our country. For the past 20+ years the US Congress has debated gun control and police violence with empty rhetoric and platitudes while people are dying. This exhibition gives voice to dozens of committed artists who have found a way to express their outrage through their art to create positive change—offering us another language to consider as a response to the war of words. ArtRageGallery.org @artragegallery

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Just Seven Inches Seven inches separated our family from being another senseless gun violence statistic. As I started this essay, just seven inches separated us from unthinkable tragedy. My stepdaughter heard loud cracking noises sitting at her desk in front of a window at their home and brushed it off—just loud tree branches and the wind. Then it came again and again. With bullet casing littering the sidewalk and yard, bullet holes were found in the siding of the house just seven inches from where she sat—fired from a drive-by gun battle between two cars racing down the bucolic suburban street. This could have ended so very differently and has for so many Americans. My heart squeezes and a feeling of sickness overcomes me as I think of it. But this is an all too true story for so many that have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence. As headlines of mass shootings and gun-related deaths become all too frequent, I looked to the artists who have explored these issues and to shed light on this complex matter of our culture of violence, and gun issues. The idea for Deadlocked and Loaded: Disarming America came after the massacre of the innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I have been wanting to do this exhibition for years to showcase this powerful collection of artwork. I have dedicated my curatorial practice to “art as activism” exhibitions with the goal to stimulate dialog, raise

consciousness and encourage social change. The power of art can do that—bring people together to question the status quo and see things in a new light from different perspectives.

I have become so horrified by the level of gun violence in this country that I had to take a look at it through making work about it. I don’t expect my work to change anything, but through a juxtaposition of images, I hope the viewer will come away with a continued questioning of their own,” says Margi Weir, artist. Margi Weir, Bang Bang 1, (2014), 84 x 93 inches, vinyl on wall

Since Sandy Hook, almost 2,400 children have been shot and 370 injured. Already in February 2021, 1193 people have been killed and 234 injured and of these numbers, 25 children have been killed with an additional 36 injured. Just typing these numbers make me sick and shake with rage and disbelief. There have been at least 2,700 mass shootings in the United States since the shooting at Sandy Hook. I sit here with my head hanging, fingers paused on my keyboard, unable to process these numbers. What do these abstract numbers mean? Well, everything if it took a loved one from you. 8


Life or Liberty What does America value? Life or Liberty? Deadlocked and Loaded: Disarming America is a “locked and loaded” conversation through art, showcasing work in all media, that addresses our culture of violence and gun issues in the United States—particularly how it affects women, children, and marginalized peoples. Our gun culture, systemic racism, toxic masculinity, police brutality and the rise of white supremacy in America, are undeniably urgent issues that cannot and should not be avoided or ignored. Polarized, political times call for political, activist art and I am grateful for the opportunity to showcase these artists. Through my curatorial practice, I promote and support local, national, and global art activism. I believe that the artist’s voice can help to foster important dialogues and inspire others to add their voice. From a feminist perspective with work from 36 self-identified female artists with 52 works, this collaborative exhibition spans three galleries

in Syracuse, NY: ArtRage, the Community Folk Art Center and Point of Contact galleries. To expand the conversation, I have included additional artists in the catalog. This collection is a visual testimony—combining lived experiences, memory, identity, and beliefs— documenting societal issues related to our culture of violence and systemic racism, crafting narratives blending art, activism, and a cry for social justice to amplify the voices of those who have been historically silenced.

I think we need to be challenged, we need to hear challenging, radical, provocative things, even if we don’t agree with them, as it’s those things that make us react and make us want to bring about change…” Sarah Maple, artist

Deadlocked and Loaded: Disarming America reflects this important cultural moment with art that shouts, “enough is enough” and speaks truth to power. This exhibition is meant to “disarm”—a double entendre— not only removing guns from society and those that would seek to harm, but more importantly, to be disarming to the viewer to portraying the aftermath and consequences of said violence. Narrative and memory are important to advocate and record if we are going to create a just society. Penny Mateer, Sad and Joyful at the Same Time (2020), hand-cut newspaper collage

A Call to Arms While the concept for this exhibition started with a focus on preventing gun violence, the events of the past four years have pushed it beyond those limits to include systemic racism, police brutality and the rise of white supremacy due to ex-president Trump and the fear xxx

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mongering amongst his followers that “they” were coming to take away your 2nd Amendment rights, along with xenophobia, nationalism and thinly veiled racism. This American president idolized despots abroad and condoned mobs at home, and through nonstop, incendiary tweets and calls for violence (online and at rallies), worked up the crowd that stormed our nation’s capital. Because of this domestic coup attempt, spurred on by explosive rhetoric from the President and his supporters, our country is far more divided, violent and deluded than before he entered office. We must look at how guns intersect with structural violence, toxic masculinity, poverty, systemic racism, and a militarized, insensitive police force that has proven untrained and inept at conflict de-escalation. Toxic Masculinity There is perception of the loss of the American Dream for a faction of the White American male. They want it back, feel entitled it to and that they have lost what is rightfully theirs. Many need their guns to feel strong, powerful and in control. We are seeing a backlash to that

feeling of loss with a rise in toxic masculinity, described as the need to aggressively dominate others, the devaluation of women, homophobia and wanton violence. Rural white men, in particular, are losing their jobs and way of life but cast blame on those “others”, fill in person of color, immigrant, liberals, women, and subscribe to conspiracy theories rather than look to government and corporate policies that favor the rich and powerful. Finding someone or something else to blame is the easier route. Guns are symbols of protection and they are also symbols of independence, with the broader implication of what it means to be a man—protecting his family and his country, with his God-given right bestowed by the Constitution. Another thing to be considered is the increased push for “open carry.” Violence begets violence and we need to put the guns away, this is not the

Old West where one needs to carry a gun to the grocery store. I was in Scottsdale, Arizona a few years ago, sitting poolside at a nice resort. I was shocked and startled to see a man walk by with a big glock tucked into the back of the waistband of his jeans. In this resort paradise, surrounded by people sunning, reading and swimming, I remember thinking “What would he possibly need a gun for—shoot someone if he doesn’t get enough guacamole with his tortilla chips?”

“Gun activists work so hard to make open carry “the new normal,” hoping we will all somehow acclimate to this attempted regression back to The Wild West where everyone walks around with a gun, and the one who draws the fastest “wins.” The apparent premise of this radical agenda is that we will all be safer, but the resultant “new normal” is that our country is suffering from constant gun-related accidents and homicides. The numbers are mind numbing, but, until it has happened to someone you know, it’s easy to become desensitized to the reality of it,” says Kate Kretz, artist. Kate Kretz Portrait of a Mass Shooter (2017) Inkjet print of 20 super-imposed mass shooter portraits on metal, 20 x 16 inches 10


Given our volatile political climate, with the normalization of white nationalism and derisive rhetoric inciting violence, it is clear there is a new urgency to address the root causes dividing our country. Our troubling complacency to mass shootings—at schools, churches and public spaces, shootings involving the police, and “stand your ground” ideology—underscore our collective responsibility to come together for the health and wellbeing of our country, our communities, our families, and ourselves. Systemic Racism As an activist curator, we need to address our institutional racism and use art and our power for social change to stand up against racism, inequality and police brutality. Through activist exhibitions, we will amplify the voices of those who have been historically silenced. This collection of work speaks to the injustices inflicted on marginalized lives in America. If we want to create a more just world, we must first solve issues of intolerance and inequality. These power imbalances with systemic inequality and a systemic pattern of exclusion for women, for people of color, and a lack of equilibrium in the power and equality distribution in society are the root of the problems facing the disenfranchised. Time and time again there are reports of heinous abuses by the police, particularly to people of color. Just last week there was a report of police pepper spraying a nine-year-old girl in Rochester, New York! How could that even begin to be fathomable? A mere child, a little girl, being subjected to that brutality is unconscionable and unforgivable. I know being a cop is a hard and stressful job, my Uncle Bob was a cop on the beat in East Harlem in the 70s-80s and was shot in the back. I am grateful for their service to our communities but with report after report of police violence, now is the time to extract these perpetrators of unjust violence and make a clean sweep of our policing systems. The continued slaying of black men shows the implicit bias and explicit racism in our society and our judicial systems. Police violence is a devastating problem here in the United States. Police officers are three times more likely to fatally shoot a Black individual than a white individual. Triggers are pulled less quickly for white suspects. As we watched the siege of the Capitol building, it was impossible to miss the racial implications of the attack by the overwhelmingly white crowd and the sharp contrast to the way law enforcement reacted to Black Lives Matter protests last year where heavily armed law enforcement set off explosives and fired tear gas on peacefully gathered protestors. Photo after photo and videos show protesters being beaten, arrested and dispersed by police whereas the police were virtually absent and allowed the white mob of rioters to

invade the Capitol on December 6, 2020. Thoughts & Prayers The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of individual citizens to “keep and bear arms.” Our country insists on interpreting this amendment to allow individuals to create an arsenal that actually threatens rather than protect “the security of a free state.” How secure are we when 20 children in an elementary school can be shot by a 20-year old boy, when 471 people (60 killed and 411 injured) are mowed down at a concert, when 49 people are massacred at a night club? For those that think the 2nd Amendment comes first–it means our kids and citizens come last. 11


Culture-shifting movements like Black Lives Matter and the National School Walkout, called for anti-gun policy and systems change. These

movements have revealed that there is wide public support for gun control but we have yet to see any significant progress in developing legislation to make obtaining firearms in the United States more difficult. When tragedy strikes, politician utter “thoughts and prayers” and then continue as usual, with their pockets lined by the NRA. There is such a rabid, negative response to any talk of restricting gun possession so that nothing ever changes. Then the general person forgets and suppresses thinking about it until it happens again and again. . Could it be that the increasingly common media reports of violence have left us desensitized and detached? Boys and Their Guns In 30 states, it is technically legal for a child to possess a rifle or long gun. Their admiration and desire for guns may come from imaginary games as the hero—defending the good and slaying all evil. “A Christmas Story” (1983) is one of my favorite movies, telling the story of

Ralphie who desperately wants an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock. His mother and teach tell him “No—you’ll shoot your eye out!” But Ralphie dreams of saving his family from Bad Bart with his Ol’ Blue (the name for his most treasured peacemaker) and the promise to make Bart and his gang “push up daisies.” I have seven nephews and two grandsons and they all love playing with guns—airsoft, nerf, water guns, all fun play. But I have to question of long-term and subconscious effects of gun play along with violent video games. How can kids play these games for hours every day and not become numbed and insensitive to violence or decide to emulate it?

“In the United States we are given guns to play with at a young and tender age. Gunplay embeds our imagination through songs and stories and moving pictures. Through peer pressure we learn to thrill to our fear, playing at stalking, chasing, shooting. Death is made all right by resurrecting the dead when the game is finished. Our play distorts what is right and what is wrong, what is real and what is not,” says Priscilla Otani

Christine Ferrouge,

We’re Seven So We Have Seven Lives (2016) Oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches

Artist Statement: “We’re seven so we have seven lives” said the boy to his friend. Their mom was reading on a blanket a few yards away. Her son and friend were plotting to face wild challenges of a video game in their mind. Should they be allowed to use guns to defend themselves in their make-believe world? 12


Violence to Women Most conversations about gun control and gun violence on both sides of the debate do not include the experience of women. This speaks to the continuation of patriarchy, toxic masculinity and an underlying disregard for female agency, the female body and its dispensability. Women are being killed at higher rates by guns. It is just not reported. Women are also disregarded culturally as well. Crime and thriller movies and tv are often centered on female bodies, ones stripped of power, and whose trauma and death, for purposes of dramatic effect, is titillating and thrilling. This is imbued into our culture through film, tv, music/videos—it is the norm for how women are treated. Domestic abuse and gun violence spills into everyday life for so many women from all walks of life.

“The incongruity of valentines and violence is in keeping with the reality of intimate partner violence—a person exacting harm onto someone they profess to care for. The statistics are staggering—in an average month fifty-three women are shot to death by an intimate partner in the US and approximately 4.5 million American women alive today have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner,” says Holly Ballard Martz

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas,

I Look Like a Woman, I Cut Like a Buffalo (2013) Watercolor on aquaboard 8 x 10 inches

This exhibit is to raise our consciousness about preserving and protecting human life. A goal is to build a commitment to dial back the violence and find ways to bring peace. The artwork pursues an empathic shakeup from complacency through images that remind us of what we stand to lose after what we have lost already. Women carry the major burden of emotional healing and repair for the family, and so the after-effects of gun violence weigh especially heavy on them. Another goal of the exhibit is to instill a deep sense of empathy with the mothers and their families when their kids are killed or murdered. Can we not make this stop? Let’s start talking about what do we say after thoughts and prayers have been uttered. Policy debates have done little to change hearts and minds, I believe art has the potential to cut through the political noise and is a reflection of our hopes and fears, our failures, pain and loss that can unite us. Conclusion Full disclosure—I am not anti-gun. I would call myself a common-sense person, outraged with the senseless killings. Why anyone would be opposed to universal background checks, without loopholes, and banning mentally unstable people and domestic violence offenders from having guns. We should enact stronger gun laws, including an effective assault weapons ban, mandatory background xxx

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checks on all firearm purchases, and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines. But Americans believe it is more important to protect the right to own guns than it is to control gun ownership. I am sick and tired of guns having more rights than human beings. The artists and I are saddened and fatigued by the loss of life due to gun deaths. Each time a gun takes a life, it triggers grief. Each death shatters our lives, every day, everywhere. Through this art, we can viscerally feel the impact of the violence as portrayed in the works in Deadlocked

and Loaded. “I believe more artists understand the impact their art has on creating change in our society and world, and there is much more collaboration between artists. As artists, we now understand that we are cultural first responders, and it is our civic responsibility to respond in real time. Art must be democratic and accessible to all people,” says Michele Pred Art is both a mirror and a lamp, reflecting our culture and illuminating potential ways forward. It goes beyond moralizing, but having said that, it is my hope that this collection of art elicits a solid sense of right and wrong, and builds bridges for a communal purpose—to get started with the work needed for a society free from police brutality, gun violence and its countless tragic deaths. Art can be beautiful. It can be ugly and hard to look at. Activist art, however, is not just about depicting beauty, but rather encapsulating and expressing the artists experience and perspective into a visual form. It leads not to one conclusion, but rather stimulates our subconscious and emotions, that may move us to alter our perceptions and viewpoints.

Patricia Turner

Oranges

(2018)3D Wall Hanging Diptych, 36 x 42 x 15 inches

“Their exit wounds were the size of oranges.” The size of oranges. Emergency room doctors describe their horror and helplessness when addressing the immense damage done to our children by the bullets from an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon, damage that is impossible to treat successfully. An ER physician says “They had no fighting chance at life”.

This exhibition seeks to engage viewers to listen to each other and collectively seek solutions. We can alter the social narrative though art—it can influence the way we think and act as individuals, and as a society. We need the conversations and the action that follow to build bridges to a more peaceable union that has the foundation of justice for all. Karen M. Gutfreund 14


ArtRage Gallery: Salma Arastu, Lorraine Bonner, Beth Costello, Cat Del Buono, Justyne Fischer, Pamela Flynn, Lisa Freeman, Marlowe Jones, Kate Kretz, Beth Lakamp, Ann J. Lewis, Sarah Maple, Penny Mateer, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, Amy Pleasant, Michele Pred, Lucky Rapp, Jenny Reinhardt, Karen J. Revis, Beverly Rippel, Kadie Salfi, Gigi Salij, Patricia Turner, Margi Weir. Community Folk Art Center (CFAC): Jenny Balisle, Alice Beasley, Mona Cliff, Sally Edelstein, Justyne Fischer, Nette Forné Thomas, Leslie Kerby, JoAnne McFarland, Carol-Anne McFarlane, Brandi Merolla, Priscilla Otani. Point of Contact Gallery: Christine Ilewski

Catalog: Holly Ballard Martz, Christine Ferrouge, Karen Fiorito, Jennifer Kim Sohn, Nina Kuo, Chandrika Marla, Kelly Mathews, Kristine Mays, Nancy Ohanian, Melanie Olivia, Sibylle Peretti, Sinan Revell, Sarah Stolar 15


Salma Arastu Berkeley, CA

You Loot We Shoot

2020 Acrylic and charcoal on unstretched canvas 40 x 58 inches

Originally from India, I am now based in Berkeley, California. I am a visual artist, sculptor and poet, lyrical, spiritual, figurative, and calligraphic—my work speaks of human universality. My works are informed by folk art, Indian, miniatures and Arabic Calligraphy due to my travels and experiences in different cultures around the world. As a visual artist, I have had almost 40 solo shows nationally and internationally, and have won several prestigious awards including the East Bay Community’s Fund for Artists in 2012, 2014 and 2020, and the City of Berkeley’s Individual Artist Grant Award in 2014, 2015, and 2016. I have public art pieces on display in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and San Diego, California and I have also written and published five books. Artist Statement: George Floyd was killed during an arrest after a store clerk alleged he had passed a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis. A white police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for a period initially reported to be 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Donald Trump had tweeted in response to the African American protests against police brutality, “You Loot, We Shoot.” It was etched in my mind and I couldn’t sleep because the questions like “The chaos we are facing today? The source we look forward to help is shooting fire from above...where do we go?” kept echoing in my mind. Next day this painting happened as I had to release my anger and sorrow…

salmaarastu.com @salmaarastu

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Jenny Balisle Richmond, CA

Sleep Privilege

2020 Custom cross-stitch 6.5 x 6.5 x 2.5 inches

Jenny E. Balisle earned a B.A. in Art and Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a M.F.A. from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Exhibits include the de Young Museum Artist-in-Residence, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, Korean Cultural Center, Harvard University, Farmington Museum, Museu Brasileiro Sao Paulo, and Shanghai Oil Painting & Sculpture Institute Art Museum. Her work has been featured in such publications as The Huffington Post, WOMENCINEMAKERS, A5 Magazine, ZYZZYVA, The Drum Literary Magazine, and Sculptural Pursuits Magazine. Public art includes The Cube Art Project, Hearts in San Francisco, and South San Francisco Utility Box Mural Project. Balisle works as an artist, advocate, curator, writer, lecturer, and instructor at the Academy of Art University, UC Berkeley Extension, and Diablo Valley College. Artist Statement: My art practice investigates symbols of influence and power that impact perception. The art serves as a memorial to how privilege benefits a few, while some pay the ultimate price for sheer existence. Breonna Taylor, an EMT and aspiring nurse, was shot to death by police late at night at home. The basic routine of life within personal space regurgitates systematic racism. Despite numerous attempts to whitewash and sanitize history, America continues to gaslight its original sin.

jennyebalisle.com @jennyebalisle

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Holly Ballard Martz Seattle, WA

Love Hurts

2020 Approximately 6,000 spent 9mm shell casings, pushpins 55 x 86 x .75 inches *catalog only

Holly Ballard Martz is a multidisciplinary artist who uses language and found objects to create iconic works about deeply felt social, political, and personal subjects. She has exhibited extensively, including a solo show at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art and an eighteen-month-long run of her monumental installation, danger of nostalgia in wallpaper form, at the Bellevue Arts Museum. The Greatest Show on Earth, her 30-foot circus tent constructed from 50 US flags, was featured on a billboard in NYC as part of The Ministry of Truth 1984/2020 in the month leading up to the 2020 Presidential election. She is the recipient of a McMillen Foundation Fellowship and an Artist Trust GAP award. Her work is held in many private and public collections, including the Gates Foundation for which she was commissioned to create work in celebration of their 20th Anniversary. Based in Seattle, Martz received her BFA from the University of Washington. At first glance the sparkling, scrolling script against the vivid fuchsia wall is reminiscent of a vintage valentine. On closer inspection, the bullet casings are readily recognizable as vestiges of discharged firearms. The incongruity of valentines and violence is in keeping with the reality of intimate partner violence—a person exacting harm onto someone they profess to care for. The intensity of the wall color matches the intensity of the subject matter while the oversized scale of the text works to convey the enormity of the problem. The statistics are staggering—in an average month fifty -three women are shot to death by an intimate partner in the US and approximately 4.5 million American women alive today have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner.

hollyballardmartz.com @hballardmartz

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Alice Beasley Oakland, CA

Unidentified Black Male

2015 Fabric composition of needle-felted wool, cotton and cheesecloth on gallery wrapped canvas. 36 x 24 inches

I have been making portraits of people and objects since 1988. Fabric is my chosen medium of expression through which I incorporate the same light, shadow and realistic perspective used by artists in other media. Rather than using paint, dyes or other surface treatments, however, I rely instead on finding color, line and texture in the print of commercial fabric and thread or in fabrics that I print myself. I work directly, gradually building a composition in the same manner as a painter working on a canvas; cutting all pieces free-hand from fabric and then machine appliqueing them. My subject matter is primarily the human figure and the intricate web that plays out as we bob and weave in community with each other. In my studio, I distill what I see into portraits of everyday living in a multicultural world. The contrast of showing deep emotions through a “soft” medium such as fabric can catch viewers by surprise. As one reviewer described it, “it [is] the details in the needlework, the subtle patterns in the fabric that are so haunting.” Ultimately my goal is to celebrate the human condition in work that both intrigues and inspires the viewer. My work has been exhibited in many venues throughout the United States including the De Young Museum in San Francisco, the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., the American Folk Art Museum in New York and the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum as well as abroad in Spain, France, Japan, Namibia and Croatia. My work has been purchased or commissioned by a number of public entities including: the City and County of San Francisco, the De Young Museum, the United States Embassy, the County of Alameda, Kaiser Hospital, Highland Hospital and the Sunnyvale Medical Facility. Artist Statement: As bad as Newtown was, the reality is that black children and teens are the primary victims of gun deaths. An estimated 18,227 children and teens were injured with guns in 2017. Black children and teens were four times more likely to be killed or injured with a gun than their white peers. But, unlike Newton, these deaths are cloaked in anonymity and draw no concern from public or media. No child is safe in a nation with easy access to deadly weapons. Guns lethalize hate, anger and despair—increasing the odds a senseless act of violence turns into an irreversible tragedy.

alicebeasley.com @alicembeasley

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Alice Beasley

Remembering Trayvon, (2017), Nylon and polyester organza on nylon horsehair, 75 x 25 inches, *catalog only

In Florida, armed with a handgun and the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, George Zimmerman stalked and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin for the crime of “walking while black.” Although a jury found Zimmerman not guilty, one wonders what the verdict would have been if the situation had been reversed and Trayvon had stalked and killed an unarmed Zimmerman with a gun. In my opinion, Stand Your Ground laws exacerbate the already dangerous mixture of lax gun laws and racial bias.

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Alice Beasley

Whose Second Amendment? (2017), Cotton, nylon and polyester organza on nylon horsehair, 52 x 84 inches, *catalog only It is the highest form of white privilege that a white man can walk into a Walmart in all but a few states in this country, openly carrying an arsenal of assault rifles and handguns and be completely unmolested by police. Only a suicidal black man would think he could do the same. 25


Lorraine Bonner

Oakland, CA

Trust is Your Birthright

2015 Video

Lorraine Bonner turned to art to deal with personal trauma. Her work has moved from personal/political betrayal, in the Perpetrator series, to a vision of humanity beyond socially defined “color” in the Multi-Hued Humanity series. She calls her current series Mended, creating new beauty from our scars and broken places. She is mostly self taught, but has received information and support from a variety of community art centers and artists. Lorraine Bonner lives and works in Oakland, California, near her children and grandchildren. Artist Statement: The two pieces in this exhibition represent two ends of my artistic journey so far. I began making art as a way of dealing with personal trauma, which I found was inextricably connected to political oppression. The sculptures and writing which became the video Trust Is Your Birthright emerged from these explorations.

lorrainebonner.com

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Lorraine Bonner Oakland, CA

The Futility of Hate

2021 Clay, board and decals 14 x 14 inches

Mended: The Futility of Hate, represents the most recent stage of this evolution. In the Mended series, I break sculptures and then mend them with gold or silver. This ancient Japanese technique, kintsugi expresses the philosophy that brokenness is not to be hidden, but rather can reveal a larger dimension of beauty.

Recalling experiences of wounds and scarring, repairing torn clothing, piecing quilts, rebuilding broken relationships, the mended mask represents the resilience and irrepressible creativity of Black people in America. This energy is enough to turn the guns of state violence back on those who use them as instruments of hate.

lorrainebonner.com

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Mona Cliff

Lawrence, Kansas

UNTITLED

2019 Paper Collage, acrylic paint, matte medium on canvas 60 x 24 x 1.5 inches

Mona Cliff/Spottedcloud (Aniiih)(she/her) is a multidisciplinary Indigenous visual artist. Mona explores contemporary Native American identity and culture through Native American knowledge systems such as seed bead embroidery and fabric applique. Beadwork is the primary foundation of her artist practice. Mona pursues the concepts of generational knowledge while exploring other topics such as native futurism and identity. Her beadwork is included in the traveling exhibit The World of Frida, exhibited in the U.S until 2022. Mona has recently concluded a public art grant through ArtPlace America and the Lawrence Arts Center in which she focused on community public art. Her project Natives NOW focused on bringing visibility to the local native community, using portraiture, projections and a mural. Mona is married and has 3 children ages 10, 11 & 13 years old. She currently resides in Lawrence, Kansas. Mona Cliff is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre tribe (A’aninin) she is Frozen Clan(Aniiih) and of the Medicine Bear Clan (Nakota) of Ft. Belknap, MT Artist Statement: UNTITLED is my reflection on gun violence as a infectious American condition. A reflection of helplessness and feeling of unease when I see the cold dead eyes of the shooters/mass murderers.

monacliff.com @spottedcloud

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Beth Costello

Glenwood Landing, NY

What Is And What Should Not Be

2014 Mixed media collage, digital print 6 x 8 inches

I hold a BFA and Graphic Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology and an MA in Art from Long Island University. Currently I am a freelance graphic designer and an Adjunct Professor at Nassau Community College, NY.

Artist Statement: This piece What Is And What Should Not Be was created as a reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, on Aug. 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. My way of protesting this horrific event was to join forces with Americas most iconic painters, Norman Rockwell and his painting The Problem We All Live With. This 1964 painting is an iconic image of the civil rights movement in the United States, and depicts Ruby Bridges, a six-yearold African-American girl, on her way into an all-white public school in New Orleans. The body outline is all too familiar. We still have far to go.

bethcostello.net @bethcostelloart

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Cat Del Buono Brooklyn, NY

Voices

2016-ongoing Video 11:07 minutes

Cat Del Buono is a daughter of immigrants. She began drawing and filming at an early age, making her first Super 8 film at age 11. She received a BA from Boston College, an MFA from School of Visual Arts, and attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program. Her works have shown at Bronx Museum, Bass Museum, Vetlanda Museum Sweden, and Fountain Art Fair to name a few, with solo shows at MoCA Miami, Blue Sky Gallery, and Microscope Gallery.

Voices, her ongoing collaboration with domestic violence shelters continues to show in a number of cities across the

USA and she will have her first international version in Italy as soon as the pandemic is over. She was nominated as a 2020 Advocate of NYC and was awarded a First 100 Plus Leader Award from CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence for her work on this project. Other awards include Visiting Artist at American Academy in Rome, Brooklyn Arts Fund, Bronx Museum AIM Program, School of Visual Arts Alumni Award, and a NYFA Stipend. Her work has been featured in Jezebel, Huffington Post, Art Newspaper, Brooklyn Rail, Miami Herald, and PBS. In her free time, Del Buono runs a nonprofit organization she started in her Connecticut hometown that provides free after-school art classes to underprivileged children. Artist Statement: The ongoing Voices project draws attention to domestic violence survivors and seeks to give them a voice. Del Buono gathers the stories and displays only the mouth of the speaker as a way to keep them anonymous. Only when a visitor gets close to a monitor do they hear the individual’s personal story of abuse. The necessity of moving toward the individual monitors functions as a poignant metaphor; we are not aware of victims in our own social circles until we get close enough for them to tell us their story. The project is normally shown as a multichannel installation but this specific work focuses on gun violence associated with domestic abuse. Del Buono has partnered with a number of domestic violence organizations throughout the years, including Safe Horizon, NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic & Gender-Based Violence, The Lodge, The Retreat, Human Options, Good Shepherd, Becky’s Fund, and Interval House. catdelbuono.com @catdelbuono

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Sally Edelstein

South Huntington, NY

Ending Gun Violence—It’s About Time — Hope and Prayers Aren’t Enough

2020 Appropriated paper collage vintage newspapers and pencil on canvas 20 x 20 inches

Sally Edelstein is an award winning collage artist and writer whose work has focused on examining social fictions. Her collage is included in AP High School Literature Text Books appearing besides stories by John Updike and Tom Wolfe. An awards recipient from the Society of Three Dimensional Illustrators, The Art Directors Club of N.Y. and The Society of Illustrators, she has served as a guest lecturer at Fordham University, The New School for Social Research and the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. Trained at the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse University and The School of Visual Arts, she is a member of Women’s Caucus For the Arts. Artist Statement: In July 1969, a full-page advertisement in the Sunday NY Times posed a request to the American public: Hold onto this page for 1 year and hope and pray it’s ended. The hopeful ad appeared one year after the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and 6 years after the shooting of President John Kennedy. The copy reads: The trouble is hoping and praying isn’t enough. Violence won’t end unless you’re willing to start the ending. I have held onto to this yellowing page for 51 years; the hope for the end of gun violence nearly extinguished. In the wake of hundreds of multiple mass shooting in U.S. history since this ad appeared, the Senate still can’t take small steps to curb gun violence. “My prayers are with you” congressmen numbingly utter, but in the same breath they greedily whisper “my votes are with the NRA.” Offering prayers but failing to act, make their prayers ring hollow. When are we going to start the ending?

sallyedelsteincollage.com envisioningtheamericandream.com retroarama.com @sallyedelstein

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Christine Ferrouge

Oakland, CA

Squirt Gun Gangster

2016 Oil on canvas 48 x 60 inches *catalog only

Christine Ferrouge grew up in Minnesota and fell in love with painting at a young age. Her early influences include the American Ashcan Painters and studying in Florence, Amsterdam, and the Dominican Republic. After graduating with a BFA in painting from the University of Evansville, Indiana, Ferrouge taught art in urban Chicago and Los Angeles. Her recent honors include: selection for the de Young Museum juried exhibition, solo show at Gray Loft Gallery, Kipaipai fellowship, and acceptance into the Los Angeles Art Association. She exhibits weekly in her studio during Oakland Art Murmur’s Saturday Stroll. Ferrouge curates for Werkshack, directs Art Route Oakland, and serves on Oakland Art Murmur’s venue committee. Ferrouge paints anthropological narratives of childhood where character and identity are forming quietly beneath the surface. Her larger than life paintings document the serious work of imaginative play with familiar, yet mysterious moments, often inspired by the artist’s own three daughters. Artist Statement: How does this young boy know how to cross the terrain like a gangster on patrol? Handed water pistols on a hot day, he crossed the parking lot of the apartment complex in this pose. I am intrigued by boys’ seemingly natural readiness to use guns. christineferrouge.com @christineferrouge

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Karen Fiorito Escondido, CA

Say Their Names

2020 Billboard 10 x 26.4 feet *catalog only

Karen Fiorito is an activist, artist and curator residing in California. Her artwork has been exhibited internationally and featured in major publications such as Art in America, Hyperallergic, Art Forum and ArtNews and featured in such books as American Women Artists in Wartime, Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today and The Design of Dissent. Fiorito has received grants from Change, Inc., the Puffin Foundation, the Pollination Project, A Well Fed World and LUSH Cosmetics for her public art projects. Her current public billboard project, Got Drought? has been touring the U.S. since 2015 (gotdrought.info). She is also noted for her controversial Trumpocalypse billboard in downtown Phoenix (2017) which gained international media attention. She holds a M.F.A. from Arizona State University and a B.F.A. form the University of the Arts (Philadelphia) and is on the Board of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society. She has curated many art exhibitions, including Evolution/ Revolution: The Interconnectedness of All Beings (2011), and Indivisible: United We Stand, Divided We Fall (2020). Artist Statement: Say Their Names honors victims of police violence, presenting poignant photographs of a fraction of those killed. Data regarding Black deaths by police officers are often under-reported or wrongly categorized; sadly, we do not know the real numbers. A shocking 99% of police have not been charged with a crime in Black killings. Each person on Say Their Names had a family, a rich life, future dreams, and most importantly—protected civil rights. The explosion of this most recent civil rights movement, sparked by the egregious killing of George Floyd by the hands of Minneapolis police, is a long overdue opportunity to create transformative change within the justice and policing systems in the US, and will take “all hands on deck”. I want to thank every Civil Rights Activist who continues to stand up for human dignity, and equal rights for all. All lives can’t matter until #BlackLivesMatter.

https://karenfiorito.wixsite.com/buddhacat https://youtu.be/z2sx0Yo68Kk @karenfiorito

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Karen Fiorito Escondido, CA

Who Would Jesus Shoot?

2019 Digital art 16 x 20 inches *catalog only

Who Would Jesus Shoot? is a digital image of Jesus teaching a small child to shoot a gun. It is a commentary on socalled “Christians” who are adamantly pro-life but who are also pro-death penalty, pro-gun and pro-military (prowar). Jesus said, “You must love your neighbor as yourself” and “What I command you is to love one another.” He also said, “you know the commandments: you must not kill.” Therefore, if one truly follows the teachings of Jesus, one cannot be pro-death or pro-hate. One must love all people, even his or her enemy.

https://karenfiorito.wixsite.com/buddhacat https://youtu.be/z2sx0Yo68Kk @karenfiorito

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Justyne Fischer Washington, DC

Black Icons

2018 Woodcuts on paper and resin in shadow box 70 x 44 x 1.5 inches

Justyne Fischer is a Washington, DC based Social Justice Printmaker. Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Justyne graduated with a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Justyne’s “Social Memorials” feature unjust events involving unarmed Black men, women and boys. The Charlottesville 9, Terence Crutcher, Sandra Bland, Laquan McDonald, Walter Scott, Freddy Gray, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, William Wingate, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin are all featured in these graphic social statements. Her works highlight the tragedy of each event while respectfully memorializing the human being beyond a one-day headline. Recently, Fischer began exploring the roots of systematic racism in America. The implications of “Blackness” are questioned, examined, and challenged. Fischer’s work has been featured in The San Francisco Examiner, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, East City Art Magazine, Professional Artist Magazine, Artscope Magazine, Wall Street International Magazine, the Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education and the new book, Not Normal: Art in the Age of Trump. You can find Fischer’s woodcuts in the permanent collection of the Boston Athenaeum, the Boston Public Library, John Lewis High School and Montgomery College. Artist Statement: Black Icons memorializes six victims killed unjustly by police and vigilantes. Tamir Rice, Jordan Davis, Walter Scott, Trayvon Martin, Freddy Gray and Sandra Bland are featured in this religious format to remember them as saints. No one deserves to be killed for: playing with a toy gun, listening to loud music, driving with a busted taillight, walking through a “White Neighborhood”, walking through their own neighborhood or for turning without a turn signal. These victims deserve to be honored and remembered without judgement and free from implicit bias.

justynefischer.com @justynefischer

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Justyne Fischer Washington, DC

Our Sons

2020 Woodcut on Voile, Acrylic paint, Sensor, LED lights 50 x 34 x 3 inches

Our Sons represents the fear and anxiety young Black Males face while being regularly profiled and targeted in America. To be a Black

boy in America means to live with a target on your back. Police practices that originated from slave patrols profile target and murder Black boys with no consequence. Placed at eye level, the barrel of the police gun is meant to challenge the viewer to live in the shoes of Our Son’s.

justynefischer.com @justynefischer

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Justyne Fischer Washington, DC

Nine Lives, No Reason

2017 Woodcut on Voile, acrylic paint 50 x 34 x 2.5 inches

The Charleston Church Massacre took place on June 17, 2015. Dylan Roof, a known white supremacist, took the lives of nine souls in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church after he was welcomed into their bible study. Filled with hate and lies, Dylan Roof opened fire and killed Jackson, Lance, Pickney, Sanders, Hurd, Simmons, Singleton, Middleton-Doctor and Thompson. Say their names, remember their kindness.

justynefischer.com @justynefischer

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Justyne Fischer Washington, DC

The Sunshine State

2014 Hand-carved woodcut on Voile 50 x 54 x 3 inches

The Sunshine State depicts the modern-day lynching’s of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin. Both victims were young, Black, and killed by vigilantes. Both boys were gunned down in the state of Florida within one year of each other. Their deaths were untimely, tragic, and allegedly justified under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. White men Stand Their Ground, Black boys get gunned down.

justynefischer.com @justynefischer

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Pamela Flynn Lake Como, NJ

Loss #1

2012 Mixed media on paper, digital image, colored pencil on overlay, thread 10 x 8 inches

Pamela Flynn is a mixed media artist. Her work is founded in social/cultural issues. Flynn holds an MFA from New Jersey City University and is a Professor of Art and Fine Arts Coordinator at Holy Family University, Philadelphia. She is an exhibiting artist at the Ceres Gallery, NYC, a member of NYC Phoenix Art Collective, and a member of The Women’s Caucus for Art, Philadelphia Chapter. Her work has been exhibited nationwide and in South Korea. She is a recipient of the 2006 Puffin Foundation Grant for the project Road Shrines: A Peripheral Blur. Her anti-gun violence project Considering Harm has been exhibited in many cities in the United States. Artist Statement: Gun violence is part of our lives. Gun violence destroys lives and destroys community. Loss #1 is from a collection of works that focuses on the impact of gun violence-how gun violence is not an abstract notion but is an everyday event in United States—an event that devastates one’s life. This mixed media work is part of a traveling anti-gun violence exhibit titled Considering Harm. The images in Considering Harm are meant to pull the viewer in and force the viewer to consider the harm a gun in the community can have on one’s life. My work is process intense. When I use seed beads each one is individually placed and when I stitch on paper all the stitching is done by hand with the piercing of the paper done with a needle. When encaustic is used it is moved over the surface over and over again until the effect is perfect. Any digital images are self-taken and the drawings are done on fragile vellum. The physical process of making art is important to me. The tedious hours spent bent over a piece reflects life—the need to focus and concentrate on what is important, on what makes life rich and precious.

pamelaflynnart.com @pamelaflynnart

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Pamela Flynn Lake Como, NJ

Still Counting

2012 Seed beads/nails on canvas 24 x 24 inches *catalog only

Still Counting is from a collection of works that focuses on the impact of gun violence-how gun violence is not an

abstract notion but is an everyday event in United States—an event that devastates one’s life. This mixed media work is part of a traveling anti- gun violence exhibit titled Considering Harm. The images in Considering Harm are meant to pull the viewer in and force the viewer to consider the harm a gun in the community can have on one’s life. My work is process intense. Still Counting, was created through repetitious processes. The hash marks are set within a field of seed beads. Each bead is laid individually and the hash marks are nails that have had their heads clipped off. There are 1125 hash marks in Still Counting, each representing a death from gun violence in the USA. But the marks only represent a small fraction of the deaths from gun violence in the USA. There were at least 19,223 deaths resulting from gun violence in the USA in 2020. Still Counting silently pleads the viewer to continue to count because behind each hash mark is a person shot to death with a gun.

pamelaflynnart.com @pamelaflynnart

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Nette Forné Thomas Maplewood, NJ

SPEAKING OUT, BREAKING OUT

2015 Graphite and incised acetate 42 x 32 inches

Nette Forné Thomas primarily creates paintings, graphite drawings, and mixed media artworks. Nette attended Pratt Institute in New York and obtained undergraduate BA and graduate MA degrees at Montclair University in New Jersey. For 36 years she was an art educator and arts administrator in the Newark Public School System in Newark, New Jersey. Working simultaneously as an exhibiting artist during her tenure, she was awarded the Geraldine R. Dodge Visual Artist Educators Fellowship Grant. This resulted in the writing and the artwork she created being selected for publication in A Passion for Teaching”, a book edited by Scott McVay, the former director of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Her art has been exhibited in major African American shows on college campuses and regional museums. It is included in the Rutgers University 40th anniversary perpetual virtual archival website of the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series. Selected venues where her art was exhibited include, the Studio Museum of Harlem in New York, the Emerging and Established exhibit at the Newark Museum, Newark, NJ, the Women’s Artists Series at Douglas College, Seton Hall University, Rutgers University, New Jersey City University, the College of Saint Elizbeth, Monmouth University and Monmouth Museum. Her artwork selected for the Women’s Caucus National Conference in New York is featured in the catalogs, Stories We Tell, and Who’s afraid of Feminism. Other works are shown in Unite Women.Org catalogs: Voices, An Artist Perspective and Women’s Right: An Artist’s Perspective and in the Gutfreund Cornett Art exhibit catalog, What’s Right, What’s Left: Democracy in America. In February, 2020 her art was selected for Collectively Shifting, the Women’s Caucus for Art’s national exhibit in Chicago. Nette Forné Thomas has been associated, since retiring from education, with Pen and Brush–a 126 years old, women’s visual and literary art organization in New York. She is currently the elected president. Other artistic endeavors involve curating and managing exhibits for various art organizations. Among these are Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and the Studio Montclair Gallery in Montclair, NJ. She has also selected and curated the artwork of renown artists for solo exhibits in celebration of Black History Month at the 1978 Maplewood Arts Center in New Jersey. Some of these artists were Chakaia Booker, Ben Jones, Emma Amos, and Camille Billops. Artist Statement: Women have spoken in unison against societal ills throughout time. Their voices have been raised in horror and vehemence in particular regarding school shootings. SPEAKING OUT/BREAKING OUT highlights the break from the docile role dictated by societal norms for women. The lace like pattern overlaying the female faces metamorphoses into broken sections of chain-link fencing. Thus, symbolically allowing them to break free from a role which has confined women to a perceived weakened status that transcends ethnic, cultural and economic barriers. Bringing to the fore their strength in their visceral stance against gun violence. They speak in unison to voice opposition to the racism and sexism issues which are exacerbated by this prevalence of gun violence. United symbolically and compositionally their portrayal exudes a duality of strength and delicacy, simplicity and complexity, intellectual order and emotional impact, and an overall dedication of purpose. nettefornethomas.com @nettieforne 56


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Lisa Freeman

Athens, GA

Empty Swing

2019 Assemblage 15 x 11 x 18 inches

Lisa Freeman is a collector, and Freeman’s art brings to light the “mystery of the forgotten.” By collecting objects, both the familiar and the unusual, and assembling them together, Freeman is asking us to look, to truly look, and, hopefully, to see. Freeman was born in Canada, grew up in the Midwest, and landed in Georgia as a teenager. The constant shifting left her feeling a bit like an outsider cloaked in invisibility. Armed with the powerful resource of observation, Freeman watched and witnessed the human spectacle, taking visual notes and collecting, always collecting, along the way. Lisa Freeman works from her home studio in Athens, Georgia. Artist Statement: Our American culture has long validated violence. A simmering rage has bled into the psyche of our children, thereby passing this horror on through the generations. An increase in mass shootings have left the populace with the awareness that schools are no longer a safe space. The myth of the little red school house has been blasted away—the indoctrination complete.

artbylisafreeman.com @freeman_lisa

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Christine Ilewski Alton, IL

Faces Not Forgotten

2010 to present Mixed media on canvas installation variable

I am an artist and educator who founded Faces Not Forgotten after suffering personal losses to gun violence. Faces Not Forgotten was formed in 2010 to serve the dual mission of giving comfort to families who have lost a child (age 20 and under) to gun violence and to raise awareness of this devastating loss to our society. We became a 501(c)3 in 2017. I am the executive director of FNF. Faces Not Forgotten has always reflected the huge disparity in numbers of black children who are disproportionately killed by daily gun violence due to the consequences of historically systemic racism. (“Black children and teens are 14 times more likely to be injured or murdered by guns than white children and teens.” Everytown, CDC research) To date, we have completed 27 FNF Quilts including over 250 portraits nationally (70 in the St. Louis area) of children age 20 and under who have died as the result of gun violence. This is our demographic. We work with support agencies (MOMs Survivor network, Brady, Purpose Over Pain, churches and March for our Lives) who give the FNF information to our FNF families. We do not contact families directly, respecting their privacy. If they chose to participate in the project they send us a photo of their child and a signed release form (through the link on our Facebook page: Facebook:facesnotforgotten) FNF collaborates with national artists and artist students to complete the original portraits, which are donated to the victims’ families. A jpeg. image of the original portrait is graphically superimposed over an image of a vintage handkerchief and printed on canvas panels with grommets in the corners to create the “Faces” quilts. I additionally hand paint and tie these together with black ribbon in sets of 9; 8 portraits for the 8 children that die each day from gun violence nationally and one FNF logo panel. The handkerchief background represents a mother’s grief. Prior to Covid 19, I returned to our collaborating universities with site specific exhibitions of the FNF quilts. These events bring the victims’ families, artists and the community together in a healing event memorializing these lost children and raising awareness of the issues of gun violence. We continue to do virtual exhibitions. We maintain the website: facesnotforgotten.com where information on how to join the project as an artist or to receive a portrait can be found. We have a board and advisory board members who represent the victims’ families throughout the country and assistant curators. One thing families say repeatedly is that they are afraid their child will be forgotten. Faces Not Forgotten keeps their child’s memory alive and offers comfort and support to the families. These children are not just numbers or statistics. Each one of them was a life ended. Each one has a face. ilewski.com and facesnotforgotten.org @ilewskihuelsmann 60


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Marlowe Jones San Francisco, CA

Say Their Names

2021 Graphite on paper 9 x 12 inches I am a political artist. I started drawing cartoons about Trump because I’m too young to vote and wanted to express my feelings. My passions are singing, songwriting, poetry, cooking and art. I am bilingual and speak Italian. I hope to live in England and Italy one day.

Artist Statement: Everybody has a voice. I decided to use my art as my voice. Too many people get shot in this country. Sometimes even kids. Black kids get shot six times more often than White kids. If somebody hurts someone else, we protest peacefully. We have to respond like John Lewis. He always stood up for what is right. He made a point and we have to make our point too. We need to respect each other but we can’t be violent. We also have to retain the peace, otherwise our planet goes upside down.

@jones.marlowe

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Marlowe Jones Kids are Not Toys (2021), Ink on paper, 9 x 12 inches 64


Marlowe Jones Protest for Peace (2021), Ink on paper, 9 x 12 inches 65


Leslie Kerby Brooklyn, NY

Red, White & Blue

2012 Mixed media collage with paper, paper litho transfer, oil 26 x 20 inches (left)

Draw Your Own Conclusions

2012 Mixed media collage with paper, paper litho transfer, oil 26 x 20 inches (right)

Leslie Kerby is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York City. She works in a variety of media (printmaking, drawing, painting and video) to create thematically interlinked bodies of work. She focuses on issues related to how we lead our lives personally, as individuals. And, to how our personal lives are variably connected to, and changed by, the broader networks and communities within which we live and interact.

Her work is in the permanent collections at Columbia University, New York and Arkansas State University, Arkansas. Kerby has received commissions from Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts, BRIC Arts | Media in Brooklyn and Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. She has been awarded residencies at The American Academy in Rome, Italy, Virginia Center for Creative Arts as a Fellow in Virginia and Auvillar, France and the School of Visual Arts, New York. Her work has also appeared at art fairs, Verge, Spring Break and AQUA Miami. She has been reviewed in hyperallergic.com and Two Coats of Paint. In addition to making and exhibiting her work, Kerby also acts as a guest curator with a number of New York art venues and institutions such as Project: ARTspace. She is a member of the Creative Council at BRIC Arts | Media, and a member of the Executive Board at Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts. Artist Statement: These works were originally created for a series entitled Borderlines, considering the ways in which we draw border—real or imagined—to bring people in or keep people out of society.

Draw Your Own Conclusions was a Black Lives Matter statement when I created it in 2012, years before the 2020 protests—we were already talking and talking and talking about the fact that too many women/mothers/families particularly in the Black community, were losing their loved ones to gun violence. It was as senseless then as it is now—living life with an ever present chalk mark on the ground.

lesliekerby.com @lesliekerby 66


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Jennifer Kim Sohn Sacramento, CA

Black Lives Matter

2007 Muslin, ink, acrylic 60 x 84 inches *catalog only

I discovered fiber art late in my artistic career, having experienced roles of a mom, a wife and a foreigner in a new world. In my last year of high school, I found myself adopting a new American identity, which was a seismic shift for me. Two decades later, in the midst of raising three boys, I still stumbled navigating the maze of American culture, still with the uncompromising and competitive mindset Korean culture instilled in me. This is when I discovered fiber sculpture class with Carole Beadle that introduced a medium which resonated with me, so much so that rather than resuming my career as a designer, I found myself taking a meditative journey of working in fiber. This opened up not just a new art medium but a new way to approach life: to engage in life as a player, not just a director. Soon I started making art that tells stories. My personal fables of motherhood and being a Korean-American soon shifted as my concerns grew to encompass what type of world I was leaving for my boys to live in. Now my work addresses the environmental challenges we face and voices social justice issues that affect and will continue affecting all of us. Artist Statement: Confronted with escalating social justice trials daily, I often feel responsible, yet paralyzed to act. I believe that small, sustained changes in our habits both as a consumer and in social interactions are the tools for paradigm change. By working in “traditionally feminine” craft, such as embroidery and textile arts, I hope my art engages others by tapping into our shared experiences and emotions. Ultimately, I hope it empowers viewers to advocate for change and find solutions for the crises and conflicts facing the world today.

jenniferkimsohn.com @jkimsohn

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Kate Kretz

Silver Springs, MD

Perpetual Paltitudes for Endless Innocents

2018 Scrolling led display 8 x 40 x 3 inches

Kate Kretz earned a Cours De La Civilisation Française certificate at The Sorbonne, a BFA at SUNY Binghamton (SUNY Foundation Award for Excellence in Fine Arts, Harpur College Departmental Honors/Art, Harpur College Academic Honors), & an MFA at the University of Georgia. Exhibitions include the Museum of Arts & Design, Van Gijn Museum, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Wignall Museum, Katonah Museum, Frost Museum, Racine Museum, Fort Collins MOCA, San Jose Museum of Textiles, Telfair Museum, Fort Lauderdale Museum, & Tsinghua University. Kretz’s work has appeared in over 95 international newspapers and has been featured repeatedly in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Huffington Post, The Atlanta Journal/Constitution, ArtPapers, and Surface Design. She’s received three MD Arts Council grants (in both Crafts and Painting), NC Arts Council Grant, South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship, Florida Visual Arts Fellowship, and a Millay Colony Residency. She received the SECAC award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, she’s a James Renwick Alliance’s 2020 Distinguished Artist and is on the Fulbright Specialist Roster. She was an Associate Professor/BFA Director at Florida International University for ten years before joining Montgomery College, where she was recently awarded a Shoenberg Fellowship to complete her first book on finding visual voice. Kretz writes for Medium, and Hyperallergic’s “Drawing In A Time Of Fear & Lies” series. Artist Statement: Perpetual Platitudes for Endless Innocents and Gunlicker are part of an expansive ongoing series, #bullyculture. Although the U.S. has painted a false narrative of nobility over the years, we’ve been a bully culture since our inception. I employ what bell hooks calls “the oppositional gaze” to call out the aggressors, intimidators, and often overlooked larger, systemic forces (some seemingly innocuous) that encourage and reinforce this poison in our culture. The series involved extensive research into racism, misogyny, homophobia, gun worship and animal rights, revealing many overlaps when it comes to problems we traditionally address as separate issues. Machines designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest period of time (as opposed to hunting rifles or selfdefense guns) have no place in a civilized society. The fetishization of these objects and their brandishing as weapons of intimidation is an integral part of “#bullyculture”.

KateKretz.com @katekretzartist

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Kate Kretz Gunlicker I (2015), Oil and acrylic on Gatorboard , 20 x 16 inches 72


Kate Kretz Gunlicker II (2015), Oil and acrylic on Gatorboard , 20 x 16 inches 73


Nina Kuo

New York, NY

Baby Gun

2014 Acrylic on canvas 22 x 22 inches *catalog only

Nina Kuo is a painter, sculptor, photographer and video artist. Her new works are titled Artquakes taken from urban environments of highways and architectural phenomena that reveal endless compositions. She also creates experimental 3d videos and montage installation works. Kuo has exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, PS 1, NYC, Newark Museum, Clocktower Gallery, and the LA County Museum. Her works are included in Lucy Lippard’s books and have been reviewed in Art in America, Artnews, New York Times, (Holland Cotter) Village Voice and were featured in Feminist shows and Asian American groups as well as Sinovision.net and in a catalog intro by Eleanor Heartney. Her work is in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, Franklin Furnace, MoMA-Artist Book Dept., Smithsonian Inst., and Biblioteque Nationale. Artist Statement: My statement on Baby Guns must stand forth in a bold Cubist tradition of textured and layered expressions. Our babies need protection against guns and weapons as the figures show! I depicted a universal cry of anguish and fear of stark figures bound by their family especially in American urban cities where I live. Our kids going to school, living and being threatened is still a huge impact on family survival. I am influenced by the Children’s Defense Fund (“Protect Children Not Guns”) with stark statistics: in the US, 3,410 children and teens were killed by guns in 2017 which is the greatest number since 1998. 18,201 children and teens were injured by gunfire as well.

mythicalmuse.com

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Beth Lakamp Fenton, MO

Boys, Birthdays and Guns

2021 Ink and oil on panel 4 x 8 inches

Beth Lakamp is an artist residing in St Louis County, Missouri. Her unique style of expressionism in water color or oil is characterized by the use of heavy outlines, bright colors, and layering figures to create a cutout or puzzle effect. Inspiration comes from her vast collection of old photos. Photos prior to the digital age are often the best since there is no editing prior to film developing. Taking this approach in painting works to capture that moment when everyone is off guard and little content is contrived. Subtle humor is sometimes used to contrast serious subjects. Beth’s work continues to exhibit nationally. Artist Statement: The piece Boys, Birthdays and Guns, was inspired from two 1960s photographs of two young boys receiving toy guns as gifts. Realistic toy guns as depicted in the work are mostly a bygone event. However, a large body of evidence supports the belief that the media and video games of today cause similar harm. Our children spend many hours of screen time and it is more difficult to know which seeds of violence were planted, and when. How is it possible that we ever thought it was okay to give our children realistic toy guns? Should we not be asking why is it ok to let our children play realistic and violent video games? This overexposure to violence minimizes the impact and normalizes participation in a behavior that should not be acceptable. It is the duty of parents and guardians to protect the minds and futures of our children.

bettsvando.com @bettsvando

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Ann J. Lewis Detroit, MI

This is Who We Are (#2)

2020 Porcelain, ribbon dimensions variable

Ann Lewis is a multidisciplinary activist artist using painting, installation, and participatory performance in our public spaces to explore themes related to American identity, power structures, and justice. Her work interrogates power imbalances such as mass incarceration, police brutality, and the desecration of women’s and trans rights. Ann’s datadriven art uses concept-specific materials to reflect facts in these apocryphal times. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin she has shown at the Obama White House, and her mural See Her received an Americans for the Arts 2018 Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review Award. Ann’s art has been acquired by the New York Historical Society Museum and the US Library of Congress. Her work has been discussed in Hyperallergic, Artnet, Interview Magazine, The LA Times, and The Guardian. She has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the US and abroad including shows at Petzel Gallery in New York, Seyhoun Gallery in Tehran, Iran, and Truth to Power during the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. She lives and works in Detroit, MI. Artist Statement: This is Who We Are (#2) interrogates America’s gun violence epidemic and its effects on our children. Each pair of shattered porcelain baby shoes represents a child who, this week, will be killed by a gun. This precarious installation confronts our preconceived notions of safety, societal responsibility, and complicity regarding gun violence. It offers a contemplative space to delicately consider solutions to this ongoing American tragedy.

https://annlew.is/ @ann.lew.is

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Ann J. Lewis Detroit, MI

...and counting

2016 Toe tags, ink, ribbon, metal dimensions variable *catalog only

...and counting is a chrono-reactive installation that details every death at the hands of police in 2016. First installed at Truth to Power in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention, this work shares the circumstances surrounding each police-related fatality. It grew by roughly 3 people per day and shares the stories of 1,093 deaths. https://annlew.is/ @ann.lew.is

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Sarah Maple Crawley, UK

This is my penis

2018 Photograph, mixed media 16 x 12 inches

Sarah Maple is an award winning visual artist known for her bold, brave, mischievous and occasionally controversial artworks that challenge notions of identity, religion and the status quo. Much of Maple’s inspiration originates from her mixed religious and cultural upbringing. Sarah’s artwork, film and performances have been exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions including Tate Britain, Golden Thread Gallery and Tallin Art Hall. Her recent commissions include The Baltic, New Art Exchange and Sky Arts. Artist Statement: Much of my recent practice has focused on the disturbing parallels between the political climate in the US and the UK. This Is My Penis is a collage looking at themes of fear, division, toxic masculinity, entitlement and xenophobia.

SarahMaple.com @sarahmaple

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Chandrika Marla Palo Alto, CA

For Our Lives

2018 Acrylic on canvas 40 x 40 inches *catalog only

Born in New Delhi in 1968, Chandrika Marla worked as a fashion designer for several years before she began a career in art. She moved to the United States in 1998 and is currently a resident artist at Cubberley Studios in Palo Alto, California. Her work has been exhibited at The de Young Museum (California), Queens Museum of Art (New York), Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (Virginia), and the Rockford Art Museum (Illinois). At a performance in Chicago in 2011, her paintings were interpreted by Rama Vaidyanathan—a leading exponent of Bharatanatyam dance. Marla is best known for her use of saturated color to create paintings of simplistic forms that straddle the line between realism and abstraction. Her work explores identity and is inspired by women, their relationships with others, and with their own selves. Artist Statement: In early 2018, my paintings were colored with thoughts of empowerment, women’s marches, support and renewal. The urgency to take action hit home when my twelve year old chose to be a part of the National School Walkout organized by the teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting in Florida. Our neighbors and friends were so moved to see these young children be the harbingers of change, and it was inspiring to watch them fight for revolutionary but sensible gun laws. The two shoulders in this painting portray our children, their determination, and their bold plans for a safer America.

ChandrikaMarla.com @chandrika.marla

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Penny Mateer Pittsburgh, PA

A Plea to Congress: ‘Make It Stop’, 6/11/2020

2020 Blanket 50 x 60 inches

Penny Mateer, artist/activist, works with textiles and recycled materials. Her art is rooted in quilting and embroidery, traditionally thought of as “women’s work.” Drawing from this rich history of creating functional objects intended to provide warmth and comfort, she chooses fabric as her primary material to establish connection through shared experience and spark discussion around current events. Her social practice centers on a community-made public art project to promote voting. Mateer lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Artist Statement: The President of the United States, Donald Trump, better known for his reality television show and the art of the deal than his political experience or acumen, is steering the national conversation via Twitter by questioning the veracity of traditional news sources. To chronicle this time in our nation’s history, on January 22, 2017 (President Trump’s inauguration) I launched a series, In Today’s News. Acting as “photojournalist,” I respond to the contents of each daily edition (Monday-Saturday) of The New York Times by merging multiple images of one day into a 5” x 7” hand-cut collage. The title of each is a headline or highlighted text. For economical large-scale printing and immediacy, I print the work on common objects to make difficult topics more accessible and to encourage the viewer to consider the impact of the “ready made” president.

PennyMateer.com @pennymateer

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Kelly Mathews Chicago, IL

Every Other Hour

2017 Encaustic, pastel, image transfer, gold leaf and bullet casings 30 x 36 x 2 inches *catalog only

Kelly Mathews is an artist from Chicago, IL. She was born in small town Iowa where she pursued two things, art and Arabian horses. After receiving her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, Kelly spent the next 22 years professionally training and showing Arabian horses. Retiring in 2014 from professional riding, Kelly has returned full time to her art. Her history with addiction, rehab, recovery and Bipolar disorder lend her a unique perspective on the world around her. Primarily using encaustic and photography, her work deals with social and political issues. Her work is a visual reaction to our absurd inability to relate to each other simply as human beings. We inherently register race, sex, age and ethnicity before we delve beneath the surface to the core of who someone IS. By working with encaustic she is able to build many layers, just as there are many layers to every one of us. As you move closer and look deep you are able to see the whole picture, just as you must get to know someone on the inside to truly know who they are. Artist Statement: In early 2017 our local Public Radio station (WBEZ) started airing a program called “Every Other Hour”. This program was stories and discussion on the statistics that had just come out that in 2016 Chicago had averaged a shooting every other hour. I absolutely couldn’t wrap my head around this... My response was to build a clock to look at every day with a bullet casing placed every other hour.

arrivisteart.wordpress.com @arrivisteart

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Kristine Mays

San Francisco, CA

modern day lynchings and hashtag memorials

2016 Wire, ribbon and rope 40 x 20 x 9 inches *catalog only

Kristine Mays, a San Francisco native, has been an exhibiting artist since 1993. Her work has been shown within the San Francisco Bay Area as well as nationally, receiving local and national press. Mays has exhibited at Art Basel Miami and presented a solo exhibition at the Scope NYC Art Fair as well. She has created public art for the Hearts in San Francisco program, worked with the San Francisco Art Commission’s Art in Storefronts pilot program, and served as the artist-in-residence at the Bayview Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco. She is a participant in the San Francisco Open Studios program for over 20 years. Kristine has participated in programming at the De Young Museum, Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) and exhibited at the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles. Using her work for social change she has participated in raising thousands of dollars for AIDS research through the sale of her work. Her work is displayed in many Bay Area homes and private collections throughout the USA. Her eclectic mix of collectors include Star Wars creator George Lucas and the dearly departed Peggy Cooper Cafritz. Artist Statement: The act of lynching originated during the American revolution. This act of terrorism is an extreme form of informal group social control, often conducted with the display of a public spectacle for maximum intimidation. In the United States, lynchings of African Americans, typically by hanging, became frequent in the South during the period after the Reconstruction era and especially during the decades on either side of the turn of the 20th century. The political message—the promotion of white supremacy and black powerlessness—was an important element of the ritual. Fast forward to present day and this type of terrorism comes in the form of black people killed at the hands of the police. Due to social media, these deaths have been recorded and shared worldwide, with the victim’s name often noted as a hashtag in a modern day cataloging of information. The ribbons on the sculpture are hand-stitched with the names of African-Americans killed at the hands of the police. This sculpture was created to reveal the burden and breadth of injustice being inflicted upon people while the media declares these occurrences as isolated instances.

kristinemays.com @kristinemays

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JoAnne McFarland Brooklyn, NY

Still–ed Life: Amadou Diallo, Michael Brown, George Floyd, Freddie Gray

2020 Oil on wooden panel, stencil on wall 5 x 5 inches

JoAnne McFarland is an artist, poet, and curator and Artistic Director of Artpoetica Project Space in Brooklyn, NY that presents work that is both literary and highly visual. McFarland has exhibited widely for over 30 years, and has artwork in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Department of State, among others. Her poetry books and libretti include: Tracks of My Tears, 13 Ways of Looking at a Black Girl and Identifying the Body. She is the former Exhibitions Director of A.I.R. Gallery, the first artist–run gallery in the United States specifically for women artists. Her most recent curatorial project, SALLY, a title referencing Sally Hemings, explores how contemporary conceptions of white/black, male/female, young/old, rich/poor reflect or disrupt earlier cultural norms. SALLY will travel to Wellfleet, MA in August 2021. In her work McFarland treats violence and creativity as diametrically opposed: each act of making thwarts violence’s aim to destroy. Artist Statement: My Still–ed Life oils commemorate Black lives lost to violence. I pair domestic objects that are innocent and playful with the names of those who have died. The sensual, colorful nature of the paintings reminds us how luscious life can be. Stenciling part of the name of the individual onto the wall integrates the artwork into the environment, and merges past and present. The stenciled text appears ghostly.

joannemcfarland.com @joannemcfarland55

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JoAnne McFarland Brooklyn, NY

Still–ed Life: Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland

2020 Oil on wooden panel, stencil on wall 5 x 5 inches each

joannemcfarland.com @joannemcfarland55

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JoAnne McFarland Armed and Considered Dangerous

2008 Oil on wooden panel, with silver ink for text 18 x 14 inches *catalog only

Armed and Considered Dangerous is part of my Use in a Sentence series.

The series exploits the varied meanings of some words. In this case “armed” simply means having arms, rather than carrying a weapon, thereby defusing the expected connotation of the word. The black doll figure is innocent. Black people are too often assumed to be guilty, of something, of anything, rather than given the benefit of the doubt. The Use in a Sentence series challenges the viewer to put aside their first reaction to what they see, and approach with an open heart. joannemcfarland.com @joannemcfarland55

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Carol-Anne McFarlane

Plantation, FL

Target #14 and Target #15

2016 Digital print on paper with bullet holes 36 x 24 inches

Carol-Anne McFarlane believes in action towards social reconstruction and a world of self-examination leads to self– improvement and empowerment. McFarlane pairs her experiences with social critique to share her vision in challenging and reconstructing current social structures. In 2017, McFarlane’s video piece was chosen as a part of the 2017 Jamaica Biennial. Art511 Magazine named McFarlane one of the Top Ten NYC Artists Now in January 2019. McFarlane’s work was included in Beaver, the Exhibition in a Book (published 2020). McFarlane participated in the AIM Biennial in 2020. McFarlane has been interviewed on several programs, including Queer Qonversations on Very G TV, The Circle with Niki Lopez, IG Live with Sugarcane Magazine. She was a guest on Hazel Dooney Podcast in November and December of 2020. McFarlane received the DVCAI 2021 Artist Catalyst Award in December 2020. McFarlane was invited to participate in an International Cultural Exchange with Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator in 2019 (Belize) and 2020 (Guadeloupe). She spoke about her art at the Universities Art Association of Canada Conference in Quebec in 2019. Chief curator, Sophie Bonet, invited McFarlane to guest curate DISOBEDIENT: Redefining Feminism in a Fractured Reality for ArtServe in 2020. She attended the Atlanta College of Art and graduated with a BFA in Illustration. Artist Statement: This work started as the natural progression of the targets that I created. When I decided to shoot my work, and set about doing it, I navigated gun laws, gun range policy restrictions, and negotiation. Gun ranges prohibited bringing my own targets for legal reasons, I didn’t have or could carry a gun legally, so I had to gain proximity to carrying with a licensed gun owner. Finding a gun range that allowed me to supply my own targets, meant following word of mouth directions that included making a left at a strip club and searching through rows of warehouses for a specific range. I made a few trips to make the most of the experience and access. The experience of making this work was multifaceted to me. One aspect was creating an original from a reproduction. Another was engaging in a different type of mark-making that included chance, time, physics, and possible destruction. The whole of experience working collaboratively to have the access and opportunity to take this work to another level and to see how it responds, how I respond. Shooting the gun, feeling the recoil, seeing the spark, hearing the bang and the cartridge hit the floor, you don’t notice the hole in the artwork at first. The print wafts when hit and you look for where you hit. Aim and try again. Where did it hit? Where to aim next? How many holes? Is it time to reload? What did the camera capture? cmcfarlaneart.com @camcfarlane 96


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Brandi Merolla Narrowsburg, NY

Hands Up

2020 Photography 24 x 18 inches

Brandi Merolla was born and raised in NYC in 1960. From the start, her mother taught her the importance of speaking out against social injustices of all kinds. They marched together in NYC and Washington, DC in support of civil rights, feminism and the environmental movement. Even as a child, Brandi made art about equal rights. She has been showing her art in museums, galleries and publications around the world her whole life. Since progress never goes in a straight line, the need to speak out never goes away. Still to this day, Brandi takes part in marches and peaceful protests for the Black Lives Matter movement, for Women’s and LGBTQ rights and for the environmental movement. Her artwork continues to be her voice because she believes that Silence=Consent. Five years ago, this vocal artist was elected town councilwoman to help her town realize numerous sustainable solutions as she focused on the dangers of climate change. Her town is now a NYS Certified Climate Smart Community. Artist Statement: I photographed this topsy-turvy doll to illustrate the phrase “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”, a term of surrender by men and women of color when confronted by an approaching police officer. Because racial profiling bias has endured for centuries, I used an historic artifact from the time when having a doll of color was illegal in this country. Originally containing a skirt, when a slave master entered a room where a child of a slave was playing, the child would quickly flip the doll upside down so the white head was visible, covering the black head with the skirt. Hundreds of years of injustice. BLM.

scenesfromtheattic.com @brandimerolla

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Rosemary Meza-DesPlas Farmington, NM

Cry, Die or Just Make Pies

2013 Hand-sewn human hair on canvas 13 x 10 x 2 inches

I was born and raised in Garland, Texas; a manufacturing-based suburb of Dallas. My parents’ heritage is rooted south of the US border: my mother was born in Allende located in Coahuila, Mexico. My father, born in Santa Maria, Texas, grew up in Tampico situated within Tamaulipas, Mexico. The tenacity of my eight aunts in the face of personal tragedies and adversities was an early inspiration; their narratives contributed to my embrace of feminist ideology. Rosemary Meza-DesPlas currently lives in Farmington, New Mexico. The cornerstone of her artwork is the female experience within a patriarchal society. The use of portraiture to discuss gender-based burdens personalizes the political. Meza-DesPlas seduces the viewer with stitched, sensual marks of hair. Through on-site drawing installations and watercolor paintings, Meza-DesPlas responses to socio-cultural burdens endured by women; these burdens and their subsequent impact on contemporary culture are interpreted through a global lens. She earned a MFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art (Hoffberger School of Painting) and a BFA from the University of North Texas. Her artwork has been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Her work has been written about in several publications including the Huffington Post, Dallas Morning News, The Durango Herald, Wall Street International, and Interview Magazine. Ms. Meza-DesPlas parallels the themes in her visual artwork with the written word and spoken word performances. Artist Statement: These works come from a series examining the relationship between violence, sexuality and femininity. Film images served as the catalyst for a body of artworks created in 2012-13. Jean-Luc Godard posited that all he needed to make a movie was a girl and a gun; the same premise seems to be embraced by today’s filmmakers. A plethora of images in film depict women as sexual creatures in hyper-feminine attire toting weapons. Visually disfigured, a woman holding a weapon runs counterintuitive to ‘mom & apple pie’. The veracity of the pose belies the notion of sexiness and the female figure becomes contorted with a quiet sense of impending violence. Visual perception of female empowerment in the 21st century has been packaged for public consumption. As a visual artist, I re-contextualize these images and attempt to reconcile myth with fact.

rosemarymeza.com @rosemarymesadesplas

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Nancy Ohanian Pilesgrove, NJ

American Culture

2020 Digital 5 x 5.5 inches *catalog only

Nancy Ohanian is a syndicated editorial cartoonist. She was the 2018 recipient of the National Press Foundation’s Clifford K. and James T. Berryman Award for Editorial Cartoons. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and other news publications since 1974. Nancy’s tooedgy-for-syndication cartoons are published regularly at Downwithtyranny.com. The Washington Post’s Mark Jenkins said, “Ohanian’s wit is keen….her work is worth seeing just for its visual inventiveness.” The work has been exhibited throughout the US., featured in advertising campaigns, books, and magazines including Print, American Artist, TV Guide, Graphis/Switzerland and National Geographic. Nancy’s social justice posters are in the permanent collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles. She is a member of the National Cartoonists Society and the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Nancy contributes her cartoons to non-profit publications and organizations that raise awareness of issues important to the public interest. She has lectured at UCLA, Cal State University/Northridge, Cal State/LA, Otis Parsons and currently teaches in the Department of Art at Rowan University. Artist Statement: American Culture represents a history of gun violence in the U.S. As politicians and the gun industry lobby keep weapons companies profiting, they promote romantic myths of American historical frontier and gangster legends. Gun ownership has become cool to some, and a symbol of strength to others. My image represents this uninformed cultural frame of reference mindlessly modeled to children that keeps violence alive in America.

nancyohanian.com

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Melanie Olivia

Miami, FL

2018 Mixed media 54 x 24 inches *catalog only

Previously an award-winning Creative Director in Chicago, Melanie Oliva uses her honed aesthetic and conceptual skills to advocate for Earth and her inhabitants—through collaborative paintings, kinetic sculptures, activism and group art activations. While originally from Nashville, Melanie and her husband have also lived in Amsterdam, Chicago and now Miami. She has won over 30 awards for art direction including multiple Addy and Reggie Awards. Melanie founded artist collective Inspiration Pollination, collective/online magazine The Artful Activist and co-organized a nationwide Artist March in 2017. She was a 2018-2019 Art & Social Practice Resident for ProjectArt and has also taught art for the City of North Miami, the Bass Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami. Artist Statement: This kinetic sculpture was inspired by Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Emma González, who asked politicians to stop playing with kids’ lives. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is shown juggling red balls that say “Thoughts”, “Prayers” and “Inaction”, along with assault rifles, photos of students and a stack of NRA money. Rubio chose campaign funding from the NRA and the will of his GOP donors over protecting the youth in our community, so his hands are depicted covered in their blood. This double-sided protest sign was featured in The Nation Magazine and a video of the sign in motion went viral on social media before the 2018 march where it was deployed.

melanieoliva.com theartfulactivist.com @melanieolivaartist

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Priscilla Otani San Francisco, CA

At a Young and Tender Age

2020 Mixed media fiber art 30.5 x 36 inches

Priscilla Otani is a mixed media artist, curator, and owner of Arc Gallery in San Francisco. Her works have been selected in Bay Area, national and international exhibitions including To Hear and Be Heard, Beyond Borders: Stories of im/Migration, Rise: Empower, Change and Action, Against Trumpism, Women + Money, Social Justice: It Happens to One/It Happens to All, Half the Sky: Intersections in Social Practice Art, Choice, Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze, Control, and Banned & Recovered. She has curated and managed exhibitions for Arc Gallery, Pacific Center for the Book Arts and Women’s Caucus for Art. Her exhibition management includes F213, F*ck U! In the Most Loving Way, Liberty, Metamorphosis, Resistance, and Dark and many more. She was President of the National Women’s Caucus from 2013–2015 and currently serves on the board of Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art. Otani received her BA in Psychology and Asian Studies from Mills College in 1974 and MA in Japanese Literature from Columbia University in 1976. Born in Tokyo, Otani is a bi-cultural, naturalized United States citizen. Artist Statement: In the United States we are given guns to play with at a young and tender age. Gunplay embeds our imagination through songs and stories and moving pictures. Through peer pressure we learn to thrill to our fear, playing at stalking, chasing, shooting. Death is made all right by resurrecting the dead when the game is finished. Our play distorts what is right and what is wrong, what is real and what is not. Quilt with tumbling blocks, images of rag dolls, toy badges, patches, names of children killed by gun violence.

mrpotani.com @priscillaotani

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Sibylle Peretti New Orleans, LA

Suicide Notes: Not One Saved Himself

2016 Mixed media on paper napkin 8.5 x 8.5 inches

Sibylle Peretti is an artist who lives and works in New Orleans, LA. She received her MFA in Sculpture and Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cologne and a Master in Glass Making and Design from the State School of Glass in Zwiesel, Germany. She is the recipient of numerous awards including grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation. In 2012 Sibylle Peretti was awarded the United States Artists Friends Fellowship.

Artist Statement: Suicide Notes describes an ongoing drawing and poetry project. Simple and accessible, the notes are quest towards leaving poetic yet nevertheless profound eulogy from a life never fully realized. Inventing diverse projects between populist formats and satire, Peretti’s work encompasses an extensive range of mediums and methodologies. Often centered on historical figures, moments, documents, and artifacts, much their work creates narratives involving universal, archetypical messages that emphasize both human strength and fragility. The artist is a firm believers that the activity of making art is connected to a human activity, relies on human response, functioned in a social context, and is somehow a big-picture necessity.

sibylleperetti.com @sibylleperetti

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Amy Pleasant Mill Creek, WA

Future Unfolding: Flak Jacket Required

2020 Mixed media piece on birch cradle board 18 x 24 inches

Amy Pleasant is as a Seattle figurative and abstract painter. After spending several years in the field of education she returned to art school to study design. Her color saturated paintings are infused with the exploration of memory, and generational transition. Amy has participated in national exhibitions in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, as well as having solo exhibitions in Seattle and Amsterdam. In 2012 she was one of twelve artists featured nationally by the Woman’s Caucus for the Arts and was a recipient of an Artist Trust Gap grant in 2016. Her work can be found in personal and corporate collections in the Pacific NW and the Netherlands. Amy is a free lance writer as well, published in Huffington Post and Bust Magazine. Artist Statement: Before becoming a full-time working artist, I spent several years as an elementary and middle school teacher. Last year, I accepted a one year teaching position at an elementary school. I found that the lockdown drills that I had previously done with students were laced with an urgency and sense of importance that was not felt in years past. In 2019 there were 45 school shootings. This awareness hung in the air as I approached our first lockdown of the year. The next day was our twice yearly lockdown and active shooting drill and I knew we needed a thoughtful conversation and practice for this practice. I asked my students to show me where they would go? They all lined up along the wall. In a year of 45 school shootings, I immediately thought of the article I had read the night before that said students sitting or standing in a line assures that all will be killed at the same time. I started over, “I want you to go the place you feel most safe in the classroom.” They easily split themselves up, went with a friend and choose hiding in cubbies, under desks, in closets, behind the steel laptop cart. A few lingered until I made sure the doors were locked and blinds were pulled and settled with me between a desk and bookcase. It was silent. Students take these drills seriously and they become a source of high anxiety for many. I try to prepare them and also contact their parents so they can reassure them at home. I always include a conversation to hear their perspective and invariably someone suggests wearing flak jackets to school, “We can make them pretty with pictures and different colors.” This usually leads to “Why don’t we have bullet proof backpacks or special shields.” Sometimes, I have to admit, maybe they know more than the adults in their life. I have been in two lock downs which were not drills, including fitting an entire class of young children in a windowless closet knee to knee. These are experiences no child should ever have. Surely, this society can agree to a solution for the most vulnerable, for the future of our children and the future of our nation. amypleasantseattle.com @amypleasant_seattle 110


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Michele Pred Oakland, CA

Security Storm

2016 Umbrella, bullets and monofilament 42 x 36 x 36 inches

Michele Pred is a Swedish American conceptual artist whose practice includes sculpture, assemblage, and performance. Her work uncovers the cultural and political meaning behind everyday objects, with a concentration on feminist themes such as equal pay, reproductive rights, and personal security. Pred’s projects also contain social components that drive the conversation into public spaces. Examples include her exploration of the intersection of personal space and security by using airport-confiscated items after 9/11, the cultural background of the fight for reproductive rights, using thousands of expired birth control pills, and the continuing economic and political struggle for women’s rights, represented by her modified vintage handbag editions. She is represented by Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York. Her work is part of the permanent collection at the Berkeley Art Museum, the 21st C Museum, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, and the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York. Pred received a Pro-Choice Leadership Award from Personal PAC, Chicago, and has shown at Jack Shainman Gallery as an original member of For Freedoms. Artist Statement: Security Storm is a suspended umbrella with bullets of varying sizes raining down beneath. The arraignment asks us to consider what it means to be protected and feel secure as well as ask who is providing that protection. The bullets are also a stark reminder of how immersed in gun-culture we are here in the United States. We are virtually swimming in a sea of “protection”, yet, as a nation, we feel increasingly vulnerable. Why is that? The current astronomical murder rate and the nation-leading number of citizens (predominately of color) shot and killed by police demand that we think, talk and act to find viable solutions right now!

michelepred.com @michelepred

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Lucky Rapp

San Francisco, CA

against all odds

2020 Mixed media 9 x 20 x 2.5 inches

Lucky’s work has been exhibited in solo and group shows across the United States and Europe, including: Adeeni Design Galerie, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, ARC Gallery, Art Market San Francisco, ArtHaus Gallery, ArtZone 461 Gallery, Campfire Gallery, DVC Gallery, DZINE Gallery, Gallery 35, Houston Art Fair, h u g o m e n t o, Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair, Minnesota Street Project Editions, Palette Gallery, Playground Global, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Slate Contemporary Gallery, Sloan Miyasato Fine Art, StARTup Art Fair San Francisco, Themes & Projects Gallery, Voss Gallery, and Wescover Gallery. Lucky’s work is in numerous private and corporate collections, including all of Michelin Chef Dominique Crenn’s restaurants (Atelier Crenn, Bar Crenn, and Petit Crenn).

An active member of the San Francisco art community Lucky regularly donates works to annual auctions at Art for Aids, Hospitality House, and ArtSpan. Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she resides, Lucky has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, and has lived and worked in Mannheim and Paris. Artist Statement: This series uses vintage cap guns and squirt guns embedded in resin with whimsical subliminal text messages, color, and sarcasm to address the topic of gun control. The work features a “Dick Tracy” cap gun from the 1930’s with cursive text ‘don’t be a dick’, an “Invincible” cap gun from the 1920’s with cursive text ‘you’re not invincible’, a “My Little Buddy” cap gun from the 1950’s with cursive text ‘cap it ‘lil buddy’, and vintage pressed steel “Wyandotte” squirt guns from the 1940’s-1950’s with statements such as ‘against all odds’, ‘when the sky falls’, ‘gold finger’ and ‘007’.

luckyrapp.com @lucky_rapp

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Jenny Reinhardt

Summit, NJ

Proud Boys

2020 Mixed media 20 x 24 inches

Jenny Reinhardt, born in 1969, was raised in the semi-hedonistic social, political and intellectual hotbed of Washington D.C. An avid reader, Jenny earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Michigan. Following Michigan, Jenny pursued her passion for painting, earning an MFA, Cum Laude, from the acclaimed New York Academy of Art. Jenny raised her 3 daughters in suburban New Jersey, and now is embracing an unbridled freedom in her empowered middle age. “All that glitters is not gold” describes her artistic approach: a journey from blinding distractions of the surface, to an emotional, deeper interior. Setting aside her background in traditional modalities, she combines collage, texture, printmaking and abstraction. Jenny currently works in a 2-story light-filled studio in the vibrant Valley Arts/ Hat City district of Orange, NJ. Artist Statement: Proud Boys is a compressed exploration of the incessant images that inundate modern, consumerist culture. Silkscreened retro ads include Mary Jane whose skirt is impossibly short, and a boy aiming an enormous bazooka. In this work, candy, hotdogs and guns are sexualized and are subversively used to ignite our primal pleasure/power centers. Sprayed, stenciled hieroglyphs of Amazon shopping carts pay homage to the misunderstood beauty of graffiti and street art, which defies the preciousness of the “high art market.” Proud Boys depicts how we are cheerfully being programmed to shop for items that soothe anxieties. In the end, we have a repetitive images, including the simple profile of a little boy, aiming a deadly bazooka, and we wonder, is humanity strong enough to fight against the material machine.

jennyartist.com @jenny_reinhardt

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Sinan Revell

Pacific Palisades, CA

DoppelgANGER—Self in Highschool Shootout

2005 Inkjet photographic print 19 x 28 inches *catalog only

Sinan Revell’s life and art intersected several different countries and cultures. Originally from China, then Australia, Great Britain and the USA, Sinan incorporated different disciplines and media in her work. In the fine arts, her focus is on photography and painting. In the performing arts, Revell was a core member of 80’s London industrial noise group, “S.P.K”, writing, recording and touring Europe, UK and USA. Butoh pieces include performances at the PacificAsia Museum with Diana Wong, Thaksin University (Thailand) & LAArtcore Union Center (Los Angeles). A graduate from Sydney University (B.A. Psych), Revell later studied at Julian Ashton Art School (Sydney.) Based in Los Angeles, she has had numerous solo and group shows in the last 20 years both nationally (Los Angeles, New York, New Mexico) and internationally (London, Sydney, Kyushu & Kyoto, Japan, Songkla, Thailand). Awards include: Jane Friend Award, Brand Gallery 2009, and High Commendation from The Sculptors Society, Sydney. Honorable Mention: Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles. Sinan is a member of LA Art Association (LAAA), Women’s Caucus for the Arts (WCA) and The Sculptors Society, (TSS). Artist Statement: When I moved from Australia to the USA in the 90’s, I observed at first hand the cultural aspects I had seen mainly in American movies-the affluence, the color divide, the violence and the seductive consumerism. In my life experiences as a “woman of color” I have always straddled differing cultures from an outsider’s perspective. Following the events of 9/11, I could no longer ignore the constant media barrage on our minds, senses and desires. From this politicized perspective, I created the series DoppelgANGER. The series of self-portraits aims to express the idea that we cannot ignore our personal responsibility and global connectedness. I selected locations and staged dioramas, often of famous images—not to glamourize or mythologize our alter egos, but to hold a mirror up to our darker sides. Ultimately, we are capable of being both Good and Evil, given the right circumstances. By putting myself into the picture as all the characters, I erase the boundaries of the self.

sinanrevell.com @sinanrevell

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Karen J. Revis New York, NY

Bulletproof Vests for Toddler

2020 Watercolor monotype 15.5 x 15.5 inches

Karen J. Revis is an artist based in New York City who is driven by process and materials. She is a printmaker using a variety of techniques including monotypes, lithographs, etchings, linoleum cuts, collagraphs and papermaking. Her Karen J. Revis Studio portfolio comprises abstract works, vibrant with color and texture. In 2017 she started Revisionary Prints, which was created to explore her experience growing up in an all black community in the 60’s and being black and existing in today’s political climate. Two of Revis’ prints were selected by Colossal Media as the first in their Represent: Black Arts mural project, with murals in NYC and LA. She was a recipient of the Robert Blackburn Workshop SIP Fellowship in 2018.

She has attended residencies at The Morgan Paper Conservatory, Cleveland, OH; BACAS, Teggiano Italy; Pyramid Atlantic, Silver Spring, MD; The Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale NY and Henry Street Settlement, NY, NY. Her work is featured in The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium by Joanne Mattera (Watson-Guptill Publications). She studied Fine Art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She is a board member of the Women’s Studio Workshop and continues to collaborate and exhibit her work widely. Artist Statement: This work was a sketch made during the protests against police brutality and the murder of George Floyd. Feeling frustrated and helpless, I used bullets, shields and vests to symbolize protection in a series of drawings of black men. Just before the quarantine, I was blessed with my second nephew. I am very close with my family and it was difficult being separated from these two little boys that I love who were changing every day. I am sure they were on my mind when I made Bullet Proof Vests for Toddlers. My way of protecting my two precious boys who will hopefully grow up to be solid and strong black men.

karenjrevis.com @karenjrevis_studio

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Beverly Rippel South Easton, MA

Common Elements

1999 Oil on linen 12 x 16 x 1.5 inches

Beverly Rippel earned a BA from Univ. of Maine with a Major in Fine Arts and a Minor in Anthropology, and continued studies at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited her work nationally in museums and galleries, and has been an art educator of children and adults for more than 30 years, receiving several MA Cultural Council Grants to help support the Council on Aging classes she taught for 15 years. Beverly has received awards for her toy gun series from Cora Rosevear from MoMA, N.Y., and Susan Cross from the Guggenheim, N.Y. She was awarded a solo show at the Fuller Museum of Art, MA, and received “Best of Show” in Cambridge Art’s First National Prize Show in 1998 for Just Once from Malcolm Rogers, Director Emeritus of the MFA, Boston. She was given the Juror’s Award (water pistol series) from Mara Williams, Independent Curator @Artsbridge of Vermont and NYC, Curator of Andy Warhol—Intimate and Unseen at the Brattleboro Arts Museum. In 2010 her Blue Cap Guns were selected for the multiple New England state Triennial Exhibition at the University of Maine Museum of Art / Bangor. Beverly’s Pink Cap Gun I was included in Maine’s Portland Museum of Art Biennial Exhibition 2011 where she was invited to present a drawing workshop. She maintains an Art Practice in her studio/gallery in Boston’s Arts and Design District. Artist Statement: I paint as a ritual for expression and communication. I am seduced by the visual world and all that resonates beneath its surface, and tend to question and confront personal and societal boundaries. In my ongoing quest for insight into the origins of violence, the Water Pistols, Cap Guns and Targets series has been emerging since 1992 (with one of the first school shootings at Simon’s Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, MA, where a young family friend was shot and killed). After the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, President Clinton talked of finding the “common elements” in these tragedies, thus the title of my painting. These paintings explore and question some of our cultural rituals and have been catalysts for conversations in museum, gallery and studio settings. In painting the toy gun shape, reality lines cross and issues of ‘realness’ become blurred.

beverlyrippel.com @beverlyrippel

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Beverly Rippel South Easton, MA

Im/Migrating Skin Tone Target

2017 Encaustic, torn vintage NRA paper target on cradled hardwood 12 x 12 x 3 inches *catalog only

I paint as a ritual for expression and communication. I am seduced by the visual world and all that resonates beneath its surface and tend to question and confront personal and societal boundaries.

Im/Migrating Skin Tone Target collects and combines all of the glorious skin colors of humanity, and allows them to

blend, cross lines and migrate onto the territory of a firing range target. When my awareness of centuries of embedded racism in this country and the world came into clearer focus with the rhetoric of our 45th President of the United States, I was compelled to spill out my concerns onto this target sheet with molten pigmented wax.

beverlyrippel.com @beverlyrippel

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Kadie Salfi Ithica, NY

Every 16 Hours: A Mother & Ursa Major

2018 Eye shadow, nail polish, lip gloss, graphite, spray paint, varnish on plywood 39.5 x 16.5 inches

As a young artist growing up in rural New England, Salfi was fascinated by guns: their power, their stark beauty, their omnipresence in popular media and everyday life. Guns figured frequently in her early forays into artmaking, appearing in etchings, screen prints, and Polaroids. However, when she first heard the statistic that every 16 hours in America, a woman is shot and killed by a current or former lover, a new element of terror entered her work focused on guns—terror commingled with allure. Using a Pop palette, Salfi has been focused on the subject of gun violence in America since 2012, presenting social and political commentary with a sly stylishness that calls for the viewer to adjust perspective both literally and emotionally. Salfi has painted many guns used in mass school shootings, guns used to kill black men and now guns used to kill women. From a distance, the guns in Every 16 Hours are sexy, blingy, and pop off the camouflage grain of the plywood, pulling the viewer in only to discover via the text what the gun was used for, to kill a woman, your daughter, her friend, my mom. By personalizing the statements, Salfi asks the viewer if this is okay, acceptable or not. There is no blame, only the facts. Artist Statement: Every 16 Hours, created in 2018, is a collection of 16 paintings that put the American gun culture in the crosshairs. It is an extensive arsenal of handguns, each painted on plywood panels with lustrous splashes of overthe-counter beauty products—lipstick, nail polish, blush—and captioned with an unsettling statement of provenance or prophecy: to kill his wife or to kill your daughter.

kadiesalfi.com @kadiesalfi

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Kadie Salfi Every 16 Hours: Our Child

(2018), Eye shadow, nail polish, graphite, varnish on plywood, 18.5 x 16.75 inches 128


Kadie Salfi Every 16 Hours: Pretty Fucking Awful & Gemini

(2018), Lip gloss, nail polish, graphite, varnish on plywood, 35.5 x 20.5 inches 129


Gigi Salij

Venice Beach, CA

Ahmaud Arbery 25 and Unarmed (left) Trayvon Martin 17 and Unarmed (right)

2020 Mixed media collage 22 x 14 inches each

Gigi Salij is a collage artist and printmaker working in Los Angeles and New York. Her work reflects various subjects— feminism, politics, advertising, even food, but in all instances engages American popular culture, especially as presented to us through commercial media. She studied at Swarthmore College, and received a Masters in Architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She lives and works in Los Angeles and New York and is Associate Professor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Artist Statement: Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin were born nine months apart. And although they died eight years apart, they died in the same way: both were passing peacefully through a quiet suburban neighborhood, and both were pursued and shot to death by self-appointed “neighborhood watchers” who had been inspired by racist feeling and emboldened by guns. Worse still, in both cases the shooters were insulated by a system that tends to prefer white perpetrators (even armed ones) over Black victims (even unarmed ones)—a galling second injury presented in the legitimizing wrapper of legal process. These twin collages are not portraits of Ahmaud and Trayvon—they are portraits of the crimes that claimed them. By blending NRA-approved shooting targets with key government documents related to the investigations, these images aim to communicate the conspiracy of actors and institutions that forgive and thereby encourage these kinds of crimes.

gigisalij.com @gigi_salij

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Gigi Salij Sandy Hook – Dick, Jane, and Sally (2017), Mixed media, 25 x 19 inches each, *catalog only How do you convey the horror of the Sandy Hook massacre, which resulted in the death of twenty children on December 14, 2012? The viewer wants to turn away, because the story of even one child’s, any child’s, violent death is too awful to contemplate. In this triptych, I aimed to overcome this obstinacy by collaging flashcard portraits of Dick, Jane, and Sally—the beloved and inviting characters of American reading primers—with the graphic of an NRA-approved newsprint shooting target. Fused together, these images remind us that guns are a threat to every school-child, in Sandy Hook and everywhere else. 132


Gigi Salij Class Photo (2018), Screen print, 19 x 24 inches, *catalog only School shootings are a particularly American phenomenon: in the developed world, only the United States experiences this level of frequency and lethality. This screen print patterns together a vintage school class photo with images of handguns, presenting a new kind of American flag. 133


Sarah Stolar Santa Fe, NM

War Machine

2017 Oil on canvas 58 x 54 inches *catalog only Sarah Stolar is an interdisciplinary artist who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Working from a vast technical perspective, the breadth of her work includes painting, drawing, multi-media installation, film, video, and performance art. Rooted in a 25year investigation of the female psychological narrative, common threads in her work include coming of age, loss of innocence, sexuality, beauty, power, death, spirituality, and identity. Sarah is the daughter of artist and educator Merlene Schain, and in the family lineage of 19th-century German painter Adolph von Menzel and Rookwood Pottery master potter John von Menzel of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. She grew up in her mother’s art studio and award-winning art school Schain Studios in Cincinnati, OH, received a BFA in Painting from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute. Sarah’s visual art, performance, and collaborative work have exhibited across the United States and in Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Austria, Finland, Italy, and Cuba with solo exhibitions at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Harwood Museum of Art, and BGMoCA in Montevideo, Uruguay as well as awards and honors from international film festivals, et al. She has been featured in multiple publications and podcasts including Yale University Radio Archive, Fifty Feminist States, The Nation Magazine, and Hyperallergic. A committed educator for over fifteen years, Sarah Stolar serves on several boards and academic committees, and is currently the Chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Digital Media at the University of New Mexico-Taos. Artist Statement: Since the 1970’s, the United States has witnessed increased militarization of our police force. An officer in full riot gear carrying war-level equipment is now the normal mode of operation for protecting and serving. Military-grade weapons are used as an intimidation tactic and forceful show of power during peaceful demonstrations across the country. And now, with open carry laws, white supremacists are legally brandishing guns in the name of hate.

War Machine directly addresses gun violence and the exploitation of military tactics by people in positions of power.

It is also an image in defiance of the far-reaching human rights abuses committed by the current administration. The literal halting of the incoming machine gun is a metaphor for The Resistance and a Feminist statement. The symbols in the painting reference contemporary culture and communicate the attitude and persona of the figure—a “talk to the hand” gesture, the “cruelty-free” tattoo, and the #icantkeepquiet hashtag on her t-shirt (which is connected to MILCK’s anthem sung at the Women’s March in Washington DC). She is the allegorical personification of strength. She has acute peripheral vision and can stop a gun with her bare hands. The overlapping text in the “sky” suggests she is accompanied by the chant of a collective voice in protest. War Machine considers who holds the power and who has the ability to fight against violence, oppression, and intimidation. It asks the viewer to identify the war machine— the M16 or the woman. sarahstolar.com @sarahstolar 134


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Patricia Turner Punta Gorda, FL

Assault on Orlando

2016 Installation Approx. 10-14 feet high by 54 x 91 inches

Patricia Anderson Turner addresses social and political issues with mixed media and textile art; her subjects are as varied as war, mental illness, social media, climate change, and gun control among many others. Turner’s career highlights include a First Place at the Verona Museum of Modern Art in Italy, 2011, as well as top honors in museums and art galleries throughout the United States, Central America, and Italy. Several pieces are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Michigan State University, the Human Rights Art Exhibit, and at Florida Southwestern State College as well as in private collections throughout the US, Central America, and Italy. After residing in Nebraska, Oregon, and Belize, as well as extended stays in Ecuador, Turner’s studio is currently in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Artist Statement: United States citizen and homegrown terrorist Omar Mateen legally purchased a Sig Sauer assault rifle on June 4, 2016, at a Florida gun shop. The next day he bought a Glock 17 and 4 days later magazines and ammunition, all at the same gun shop. Early Sunday morning, June 12, Mateen relentlessly fired round after round at the Pulse Nightclub, killing 49 innocents. In September of 2004 congress allowed a 10-year federal ban on assault weapons to expire. Since then, assault rifles have been used in 28 public mass shootings to include the massacres of twenty 6 and 7 year old children at Sandy Hook Elementary School and fourteen teenagers at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. Emergency room doctors describe their horror and helplessness when addressing the immense damage done by the bullets from a semi-automatic assault weapon, damage that is impossible to treat successfully. First responders are unable to stem the rivers of blood, physicians are unable to repair the massive tissue and organ disintegration. The shooter does not even have to make the effort to aim, once his target is hit it is a virtual death sentence. As one ER doctor said “They had no fighting chance at life.” How does an artist convey her visceral reaction to this horrific imagery? And how does she plead with responsible gun owners to end this nightmare of private ownership of weapons that are designed for war? I wish I knew. #NEVERAGAIN

patriciaturnerart.com @patriciaturnerart 136


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Margi Weir Detroit, MI

Don’t Shoot Gun Birds

2017 Acrylic on hand carved sentra, laser cut plexi and vinyl on wall dimensions variable

Margi Weir, an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, calls upon figurative arrangements and presents them in a tapestry-like fashion; the juxtaposition of elements creates unique pleasing patterns, blurring—but not hiding—the socio-political and ecological themes in her pieces. In 2017, the Puffin Foundation awarded Weir a grant to support her work on gun violence that was shown in solo shows at St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley in Ferguson, MO, at the Hardesty Art Center in Tulsa OK., and at Coastal Carolina University. Weir has won numerous awards for her work, including a 2016 Best of Show Grand Prize at the Las Vegas Contemporary Art Center as well as a 2015 Best of Show award in the Human Rights Exhibition, South Texas College, McAllen, TX. Additionally, she has had many solo exhibitions across the country, notably at Ivan Karp’s OK Harris Gallery in New York and the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. She has completed installation pieces at Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (ATHICA), Jonathan Ferrara Gallery (New Orleans LA), Central Features Gallery (Albuquerque NM), Lexington Art League (Lexington KY), the Elaine Jacob Gallery (Detroit, MI) and the Las Cruces Museum of Art (Las Cruces, NM). Margi Weir earned her MFA in painting from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA); her MA in painting from New Mexico State University; her BFA in painting from San Francisco Art Institute; and her BA in art history from Wheaton College, Massachusetts. Artist Statement: One of my bodies of creative work is based on gun violence in America. It was a topic that I could not ignore following the deaths of two friends who were shot and killed in a gun fight over a foreclosed house that took place on the west side of Detroit. The incident was written about in the Detroit Free Press as the “Foreclosure Killings”. Everyone involved had a legal handgun, nonetheless two people are dead and the third has been tried for murder. My work/creative research has always been about topics that are personal even if political. It is often the only way that I can come to terms with things that anger me or frighten me. I have become so horrified by the level of gun violence in this country that I had to take a look at it through making work about it. I don’t expect my work to change anything, but through a juxtaposition of images, I hope the viewer will come away with a continued questioning of their own. http://margiweir.weebly.com @margiweir 138


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Margi Weir Detroit, MI

Blue is Not Neutral

2017 Acrylic on Plexiglas panel surrounded by vinyl on wall 84.5 x 72 inches

http://margiweir.weebly.com @margiweir

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