Art Is My Weapon exhibit sparks conversations about gun violence in our community. (A Minneapolis Installation of Guns In The Hands of Artists)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN-Sept. 19, 2017 — Pillsbury United Communities presents the local exhibit, Art is My Weapon at Gamut Gallery.  Inspired by the national traveling exhibition, Guns In The Hands of Artists produced by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, Art Is My Weapon is an outgrowth of that project that came to the Twin Cities in the summer of 2016.  Guns In the Hands of Artists was first organized in New Orleans in the mid 1990’s by artist Brian Borrello and Jonathan Ferrara to create a conversation about guns and gun violence in our society by bringing the conversation in the realm of art as the language for dialogue.  In August of 2016, Pillsbury United Communities - in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department - conducted a gun buyback to remove guns from the street with no questions asked. Approximately 250 guns were collected at the buy-back, subsequently decommissioned, and distributed to locally recognized artists to use as raw materials in their art.

Painters, glass artists, sculptors, photographers, poets, and other artists have now used the decommissioned firearms to make works of art that address the issue of guns and gun violence in America. Each artist used the guns in their medium to express a thought, make a statement, open a discussion, and stimulate thinking about guns in our culture. Art is My Weapon features Betsy Alwin, Heather Doyle (Chicago Fire Arts Center), Allen D. Christen, George Roberts, Rachel Joseph, Bill Jeter (Youth Project), Nikayla Neal, Jeon Neal, Omarion Neal, Margie Rotondo, John Schuerman, Melodee Strong, Sean G. Phillips, David Goldes, Maria Cristina Tavera, Nikki McComb, Kenneth Caldwell, Ashley Fairbanks, Mike Klein, David Ekdahl, Julie Landsman, Marnette Doyle, Jason Ramey, Donny Gettinger, and Christopher Alday. Art is My Weapon is curated locally by Nikki McComb of Pillsbury United Communities and John Schuerman of Instinct Gallery.

At Pillsbury United Communities we believe that art is a great medium with which to spark conversations about difficult and sometimes divisive topics. Our goal is to create safe places for respectful conversations about gun violence in our community and to work together to responsible solutions to reduce gun-violence.

OPENING NIGHT // ART IS MY WEAPON -Creatively Addressing Violence
(A Minneapolis Installation of Guns In The Hands of Artists)

MEDIA INVITED (great visual/photo opps)

Thursday, October 19th, 2017, 7-11pm

Featuring Spoken Word Artist: Chadwick "Niles" Phillips of Avant Garde // 8pm

Gamut Gallery

FINALE NIGHT

Friday Oct 27th, 2017, 7pm - 9pm

Panel Discussion & Artists Talk 8pm

FULL EXHIBIT HOURS at GAMUT GALLERY

Thursday Oct 19th, 7-11pm

Friday Oct 20th, 1-7pm

Saturday Oct 21st, 1-7pm

Thursday Oct 26th, 1-7pm

Friday Oct 27th, 1-7pm

Gamut Gallery is a visual art gallery and performance space dedicated to bringing people together to experience art and stimulate dialogue. Our rotating exhibitions showcase the full spectrum of media, content and styles, with a focus on highlighting innovative local artists. From traditional objects like paintings, photography and sculpture to interactive new media, live music, performance art and cultural happenings – we collaborate with artists of all disciplines to deliver thought-provoking programming that engages our audience in an immersive environment.

Pillsbury United Communities is honored to host this exhibition in Minnesota as a means to continue the conversation about guns and gun-violence in our communities. With support from Greater Twin Cities United Way, Gary and Chris Cohen, the Kents, the Office of Mayor Betsy Hodges, Tubman, The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, and LEVEL, the partners hope to bring to light the increasing gun-violence affecting our community and spark unbiased conversations and responsible solutions.

About Pillsbury United Communities

Pillsbury United Communities works with underestimated populations across Minneapolis to foster the resilience and self-sufficiency of individuals, families, and community as a whole. We design solutions that address a spectrum of intersecting needs—from education, to employment, to health—while continually investing in our own capacity to innovate and improve. We’re creating a new model for nonprofit organizations with our interconnected system of programs, community centers, and social enterprises connects with over 63,000 individuals each year. More information about Pillsbury United Communities is available at www.pillsburyunited.org