Guns In The Hands of Artists
October 1, 2014 – January 28, 2015
Openings: Oct 4, Nov 1, Dec 6, 2014, and January 3, 2015, 6-9pm
Guns In The Hands of Artists 2014
Featuring: Brian Borrello, Mel Chin, Dan Tague, Bradley McCallum, Jonathan Ferrara, Nicholas Varney, Paul Villinski, Generic Art Solutions, Skylar Fein, Rashaad Newsome, Deborah Luster, Luke Dubois, Michel De Broin, Adam Mysock, MK Guth, Michael Combs, Andrei Codrescu, William Villalongo, Ted Riederer, Peter Sarkisian, John Barnes, Marcus Kenney, Bob Tannen, Rico Gatson, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Neil Alexander, Stephen Paul Day, Sybille Perretti, Sidonie Villere, Katrina Andry, and Ron Bechet
Since 1996, gun violence in New Orleans and America has continued to be a major issue that affects the very fabric of our culture. Guns permeate the American landscape and the numbers of shootings continue to rise with deadly violence a daily occurrence in our society. From the kid on the street corner killed by a stray bullet to the mass murders at Columbine and Sandy Hook, guns and the people that use them are wreaking havoc on America.
With the recent mass shootings of the past years and the still-high murder rate in New Orleans, artist/ gallery owner Jonathan Ferrara, the producer of the original Guns in The Hands of Artists project, has been compelled to revisit the exhibition and reopen the dialogue that was started many years ago.
By taking guns off the streets and channeling them to artists to use in their art, Guns In The Hands of Artists is a way of having a conversation about guns in our society without the often partisan and fever pitched politics around the issue. By the very nature of the project, the conversation is brought into the realm of art…art as the language for dialogue… about the issue of guns in our culture. Artists will transform these once deadly weapons into works of art. Art can comment, very poignantly, about a subject and make people think in a totally different way. In the 19th century, artists would paint the objects that would inhabit their immediate world, a bowl of fruit, or a glass on the night table… today that object on the bedside table may likely to be gun.
Now is the time to continue this conversation anew. Jonathan Ferrara is working with the City of New Orleans/ NOPD and has secured 186 guns, taken off the streets by the NOPD gun buy-back program. The guns have been decommissioned and will be distributed to artists to use as the raw materials in their art. The resulting artworks will be exhibited at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in the New Orleans Arts District from October 3, 2014 through January 2015 to coincide with Prospect.3 New Orleans Biennial, the largest biennial of contemporary art in the US, which draws national and international art media, curators and collectors to New Orleans. With the exhibition on view at the gallery, it will be a perfect backdrop for frank dialogue, panel discussions and public engagement around the topic…stimulated by the creative transformations of the guns by the artists.
As a successful national gallerist for over 19 years, Jonathan Ferrara has produced over 170 exhibitions in New Orleans, across the United States and Europe. With a history of community activism, public service, and social engagement on a local and national level, and having produced the first Guns In The Hands of Artists, Ferrara is uniquely positioned to make the 2014 exhibition another stimulating, thought provoking and highly successful exhibition with quality works of art by professional artists from New Orleans and across the US.
This project presents a unique opportunity for the New Orleans to be positioned at the forefront of this national issue which plagues the city and country and to benefit from positive press and public relations on a national level. In addition, New Orleans has become a national destination for contemporary art and a leader in the production of contemporary art. This exhibition taking place in New Orleans will further spotlight the creative forces at work in our city and showcase the creative partnerships that arise from the public and private sectors working together. Art as economy and art as social activism.
The exhibition will travel the country to museums, art centers and the like, furthering the conversation about guns in our society and the impact of the exhibition. A select list of artists have been invited to participate in this project and exhibition. The exhibition is being curated by Jonathan Ferrara. This exhibition will garner both art and mainstream attention while furthering the dialogue on this critical topic in hopes to change the dynamic around this issue.