Bay Area commissions turn dismantled guns into art

The Art Newspaper | James H. Miller

The Robby Poblete Foundation, started by the mother of an aspiring artist and gun violence victim, aims to take guns off the street and draw attention to daily shootings in minority neighbourhoods. Coming days after yet another mass shooting in the US—this time at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, where ten people were killed—an exhibition featuring art formed from dismantled firearms opened in Oakland, California on Tuesday (22 May). The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, together with the Robby Poblete Foundation, organised the show and commissioned local artists to transform hundreds of guns the DA’s office has confiscated over the years.

The exhibition replicates another currently on view at the Temple Art Lofts in Vallejo (until 29 June). Both are part of the Poblete Foundation’s Art of Peace initiative, which seeks to remove guns from street circulation, transform them into instructive art and call attention to the types of daily shootings that occur in low-income and minority neighbourhoods. “My frustration is that yes, when there is a mass shooting, it rightly deserves the coverage it gets. But if you look at the totality of everyday shootings in these neighbourhoods, it’s a mass shooting everyday, and we just don’t see it [presented] that way,” says the foundation’s founding director, Pati Navalta. “What I’m trying to do with Art of Peace is raise awareness about that.”…read more

Image: Floor Mandala by Matthew Mosher.  Photo: Gary Cullen