Moms group, City Arts seeking art for exhibit reflecting gun violence

  • A sculpture by Easthampton artist Michael Poole, which will be featured in the virtual exhibit focused on gun violence awareness and prevention. The six-foot diameter sculpture is made of 14,718 washers, each of which represents a victim of gun violence in the U.S. during 2018. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/21/2021 7:36:17 PM

EASTHAMPTON — In an effort to increase awareness of gun violence and inspire hope, the state’s chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and Easthampton City Arts will host a virtual art exhibit that is currently calling for submissions. 

The exhibit, which launches in June, will focus on those whose lives have been impacted by gun violence, said Doris Madsen, an Easthampton artist and volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense who is organizing the exhibit. Madsen hopes to feature artwork by survivors of gun violence and its impacts, though any artwork addressing gun violence in the U.S. is eligible for submission. 

“We want to show that there’s hope, and art is one way that you can keep hope alive,” Madsen said. “Even for artists who aren’t personally involved with gun violence or survivors, it’s an issue we all own.

“Violence is a public health epidemic,” she said. “We’re responsible, and we have to have hope to be able to make more constructive changes.”

Easthampton City Arts will host the virtual exhibit on its website from June 1 through July 31. Madsen also plans to project the artwork in public spaces in Easthampton and Springfield, though these details are not yet finalized. It currently accepts all visual arts mediums, and may possibly incorporate spoken word performance art.

The exhibit is part of the Wear Orange Summer Jam, an event developed by Madsen and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America with support from the Easthampton Cultural Council, Lena Park Community Development Corp. and Easthampton City Arts.

Wear Orange is a national observance June 4-6 in memory of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Chicago in 2013. Pendleton’s friends wore orange in her honor, and the practice has since been adopted nationally to commemorate victims of gun violence and advocate for prevention. 

Submissions will remain open at wearorangesummerjam.com through May 1 and are open to artists around the country.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.


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