Bullet: A Look at Gun Violence

09.03.2013 | Hot Topics, Campus and Community, Fine Arts, Culture and Society
Related Links

Gun violence is the topic of an upcoming exhibit at the University of Dayton, which will feature works by artists and children from Newtown, Conn.; Chicago and Dayton, Ohio.

"Bullet: Who Pulls the Trigger?" is a six-week event at the University's ArtStreet, Sept. 24 through Nov. 4, that will feature collaborative artwork between artists, educators and youth from some of America's most devastated areas affected by gun violence to examine the ideas, images and psychologies associated with a bullet. The multilayered exhibit will also feature films, art workshops and the world premiere of a new theatre production.

(A full schedule of the six-week event is below).

Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, more than 19,000 people have died from gun violence in the United States. Nearly 300 of those murders occurred in Chicago. And although Chicago has been labeled the 'new' murder capital of the world, it's actually Dayton, Ohio, which has a higher per capita murder rate at 23.3 per 100,000. Dayton is ranked 5th in the nation behind New Orleans; St. Louis; Ft. Myers, Fla.; and Pine Bluff, Ark., as of 2011.

"The public shooting tragedies that have dotted the social landscape over the past 15 years have infested themselves so deep into the consciousness of America that conversation, question and inquiry around the topic births partisan debate, violent arguments and glacial progress," said ArtStreet director Brian LaDuca. "The 'Bullet' exhibition will provide a new perspective for all engaged in the process as well as all who engage the product created."

"Bullet" is a three-part installation that opens Sept. 24 featuring work by nationally recognized artist S.B. Woods in partnership with the Newtown Action Alliance and The Newtown Foundation, and original work created by Newtown and Sandy Hook students at the Sandy Hook Art Center for Kids.

"We live in a nation that spends $650 billion a year on the military. Violence lives in our collective psyche and our children have become its collateral damage," said New York-based sculptor, writer and artist S.B. Woods, whose work Meditation on Mourning — created after the 9/11 attacks and donated to the Newtown Action Alliance — will open the "Bullet" installation. "Meditation on Mourning addresses the grief from this unspeakable loss. It is both a lament and a longing for a more conscious world."

On Oct. 8, creative work by Ohio artist James Pate and students from the Dayton Early College Academy will be installed within the Newtown exhibit. On Oct. 22, the work of Sarah Ward — one of Chicago's leading arts advocates and educators — and her South Chicago Art Center students will also be installed within the Newtown and Dayton exhibits.

"You would think young people living in one of the most violent neighborhoods in Chicago would have a lot to say about gun violence, violence in general or solutions to the problems that plague their neighborhoods, but they don't, and nine times out of 10 they shrug their shoulders and continue to work on this project that is specifically about it," said Ward, South Chicago Art Center Executive Director and arts educator. "They are numb, they are speechless, they are victims. It is up to us to change this oppressive environment our children are growing up in and take better care of our future leadership. My hope is that this show starts the conversation most of Americans are ignoring."

Other scheduled events include a Creative Culture Exchange 7:30-9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, in association with the DECA/James Pate installation opening. "Bullet Points" will feature a debate between Dayton community leaders and guests on the future of the Second Amendment and how the creative culture of America might affect the trajectory of the legal right to bear arms. The event is free and open to the public.

During the final week of "Bullet," ArtStreet will produce the world premiere of the Arkansas-originated, Chicago-created theatre production The Warriors, written by Chicago's New Colony Theatre's co-artistic director Evan Linder and conceived by Mary Hollis Inboden. For two nights, Oct. 29-30, ArtStreet's gallery, infused with all three layers of the "Bullet" exhibition, will become a performance space for a fully staged version of this original docu-dramedy featuring ArtStreet and University of Dayton students under the direction of both Linder and LaDuca.

The Warriors was created by one of the survivors (Inboden) of an incident at the Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., on March 24, 1998, when students filed outside in response to a fire drill, only to be met by gunfire from two of their classmates. Five people died in the school shooting. This new documentary-style piece follows Inboden's efforts to reconnect with fellow Westside alums and understand their shared trauma. After successful staged readings of this dynamic and current piece of theatre at the Tony Award winning Victory Gardens Theatre and the Circuit Theatre in Memphis, Linder and LaDuca bring this work to ArtStreet as a companion piece to the exploration of gun violence in the U.S. today.

The Warriors will be presented at the ArtStreet Studio D Gallery space at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, and Wednesday, Oct. 30. Running time is 70 minutes. Seating is very limited. For more information, visit the ArtStreet website.

ArtStreet is located on the corner of Lawnview Avenue and Kiefaber Street on the University of Dayton campus. It is open 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday. For more information about ArtStreet events, call 937-229-5101 or visit http://www.udayton.edu/artstreet.

Full schedule of "Bullet: Who Pulls the Trigger?" Sept. 24 through Nov. 4:

Tuesday, Sept. 24
5:30-7:30 p.m., ArtStreet Studio D gallery
Bullet Artist Reception #1: Newtown Action Alliance and The Newtown Foundation.

Friday, Oct. 4
8 p.m., ArtStreet Studio B
Friday Film: Bowling for Columbine

Tuesday, Oct. 8
5:30-7:30 p.m., ArtStreet Studio D gallery
Bullet Artist Reception #2: James Pate and Dayton Early College Academy

7:30-9:30 p.m., ArtStreet Studio C
Creative Culture Exchange: "Bullet Points: The creative culture and the Second Amendment

Wednesday, Oct. 16
7-9 p.m., ArtStreet Studio E
Wednesday Workshop: Visual art specific with James Pate

Wednesday, Oct. 23
7-9 p.m., ArtStreet Studio E
Wednesday Workshop: Theater specific with Evan Linder (creator of The Warriors).

Tuesday, Oct. 22
5:30-7:30 p.m., ArtStreet Studio D gallery
Bullet Artist Reception #3: Sarah Ward and the South Chicago Art Center

Friday, Oct. 25
8 p.m., ArtStreet Studio B
Friday Film: Living for 32

Tuesday, Oct. 29 and Wednesday, Oct. 30
7:30 p.m., ArtStreet Studio D gallery
The Warriors (a play) written by Evan Linder, conceived by Mary Hollis Inboden.
On March 24, 1998, students at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, filed outside in response to a fire drill, only to be met by gunfire from two of their classmates. Five people died in the school shooting; one of the survivors was Mary Hollis Inboden, now a Chicago actor. This new documentary-style piece follows her efforts to reconnect with fellow Westside alums and understand their shared trauma.

For more information, contact Cameron Fullam, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or fullam@udayton.edu.