Before I present all the details, I wanted to tell you that this show is a real labor of love for the curator, Boris Bally. I had the privilege to hear him speak last year at the Association for Contemporary Jewellery 20:20 Visions Conference in the UK about the genesis of this exhibition, and to speak with him about the show both there and at SNAG. In speaking with him, it’s clear that he’s driven by the pure desire, in fact need, to make these things go away from the hands of vulnerable people in this country. He also just happens to be one of the most generous and humble artists that I have ever had the pleasure to meet, so if you are anywhere near St Louis, I really do urge you to go see him speak. (And if you do, please tell him that I sent you, and that I’m thinking of him.) And more amazingly, he is but one part of an incredible line-up of presenters, panelists and artists who will be talking about gun violence in St Louis and the USA.
Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design will partner with Maryville University to present I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now, a powerful traveling exhibition created as a positive response to the rising tide of gun violence in America. Conceived by metalsmith Boris Bally and brought to St. Louis through the help of his long-time collector Michael Staenberg, the exhibition features works by some 100 artists who have crafted sculptures using decommissioned firearms collected during community buy-back programs.
Over the last twenty years, we have seen the rise of this violence sweep into our schools, movie theaters, malls, and neighborhoods. Throughout history, artists have often served as the voices and illustrators of movements for change. This exhibition is an invitation to conversations about violence in America today and about potential constructive responses to that crisis.
Maryville University Opening Reception + Panel Discussion
Morton J. May Foundation Gallery
Thursday, April 5, 5:00 – 8pm
Conversation Towards Peace
Thursday, April 5, 7:00 -8 pm
Maryville University Auditorium
With the opening of I.M.A.G.I.N.E Peace Now, we invite you to join metalsmith / activist / organizer Boris Bally, Geriann Brandt, director of Maryville University’s Criminal Justice program; a spokesperson from Moms Demand Action; and Becky Tingle, CRC, CLPC, child therapist with Alive, Inc. They will discuss the effects of gun violence in our everyday lives. Panel moderator is Art Holliday, award-winning KSDK newscaster. This event is free + open to the public.
Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design Opening Reception + Curator’s Talk
Friday, April 6, from 5:30 – 8:30pm
Boris Bally Curator’s talk, 5:30 – 6:30pm
Craft Alliance’s Delmar Loop Gallery
Thursday, April 12, 4pm
Matt Donovan will read excerpts from Gun Shy, his book-length work-in-progress that delves deep into America’s gun culture. Donovan is an acclaimed author whose works include A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption and two collections of poetry – Vellum and Rapture & the Big Bam.
Bullets into Bells
Saturday, April 14, 7 – 9 p.m.
The Stage at KDHX in Grand Center
In partnership with the Saint Louis Poetry Center, local poets and activists will read from the anthology Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence.