NVAM Teen Council participates in a nationwide initiative to create awareness of preventing gun violence by being the first Chicago group to create panels for Vision Quilt. Vision Quilt is a national grassroots community arts project that emerged as a response to the escalation of gun violence in the US. Teen Council members spent two weeks discussing, designing, and creating panels incorporating their personal experiences and views on gun violence in Chicago on evolon using interdisciplinary medias from drawing and painting to spray-paint, sculpture, and collage. These panels along with others created in YOUmedia branches at the Back of the Yards and Woodson Regional Chicago Public Libraries will be showcased at the National Veterans Art Museum on Saturday September 24th, 2016 with a special visit from Vision Quilt Founder, Cathy Deforest.
This panel is important to me because it is about gun violence in Chicago and the need for stricter gun laws. I do not know what would make one person want to kill another person but if it continues it would be like World War III starting here in our country. If the police and the Mayor (Rahm Emanuel) do something about it, these deaths would stop. More lives will be saved if we have gun laws.
My piece is important to me because it it highlights one of the things our society struggles with– gun violence. It shows a before and after image of a man held at gunpoint and then is shot. I chose the glasses to portray this story as a way to reflect this event and its aftermath and also as a reference to the death of John Lennon who was shot, leaving behind a memory and his glasses, broken and stained with blood.
DESENSITIZATION: to make someone less likely to feel shock or stress at scenes of cruelty, violence, or suffering by overexposure to such images.
This is 2016. Everywhere we look there is violence. Whether you click on the hashtag Black Live Matter or go on World Star, violence is seen as something normal. This piece is about how media and the extreme events around us play a role in the desensitization of the human mind. Along with this desensitization comes the behavior of people exposed to it– shooting and killing, not thinking twice of what will happen. There are peaceful protests, but you also see people throwing rocks and tear gas. The woman on my panel is attached to the events that end up overwhelming her. Everything she sees slowly turns to shades of grey and black shadows. She has become numb.
Causes of gun violence and its spread through communities varies tremendously. My piece focuses on experiences and media that might cause a growth in the use of guns for taking the lives of others. The plug connected to the photo of dueling gun to the brain and sniper rifle under the head together shows how violence can infiltrate the mind but the blue bullet, fireworks and dove show how the brain transforms the violence, replacing it with something humane. Instead of banning or restricting certain materials from society it is our job to change our minds and educate others on how people in the community should be viewed and treated. All we have is an endless cycle of blame and trying to force others to change. Humanity can’t change until we’ve changed ourselves and think rationally.
The panel shows how the world is now. Violence is taking over our city and filled with so many read hands. Buildings that are tall enough to touch the sky are destroyed. A pool of blood slowly takes over the city due to the amount of death and crimes. The silhouette of a man stands in the middle of a pool of blood with a tear of blood falling down his face. He represents a victim’s family member, filled with sadness. Hand prints are on both sides representing the victims who died in vain. Overall, violence isn’t the answer.
I used the analogy of a rose to show how violence has greater costs that the act itself, often defacing the world as a whole. I represented that with a simple rose, splattered with blood of whomever was shot with the gun lying on the ground. Something once peaceful and natural is now graphic, violent and dying represented by its leaves and petals blowing away. In a sense, my piece is saying the world itself dies a little with each act of violence.
I decided to use an image to send a message. My inspiration for this came from a hunter’s point of view. The message is that there will be chaotic destruction if gun laws are not put in place. In contrast, if we do make gun laws, it can lead to peace and quiet.
I used the gun on the shield to show that you should only use guns to defend yourself and not to use it for violence. I felt the guns shouldn’t have to be banned because it’s a basic right we have. We just need to have more people have more self-control of guns other than controlling guns. Drawing in not my best medium, so I chose to use clay and then later do an image transfer so it will have 3 Dimensional qualities into a 2 dimensional plane.
I originally got my idea from the question, “What could be the cause of human mass extinction?” Everybody kept saying it is pollution or the sun will burn us to death, etc. etc.… but I think it is gun violence, war and prejudice that will lead us to mass extinction. If we continue to kill each other then who will be left to continue our reign on earth? It has a deeper meaning than just “stop the gun violence”– it is more “save us from ourselves.” We are the cause of our own destruction.
I envisioned a piece that uses quotes to convey my message, objects to symbolize violence and death and then putting it all together to make this anti violence quilt panel. The bullets represent corruption and the blue hands symbolize the phrase “hands up.” Since these are my hands, it shows how I feel towards the topic with the belief that many people should come together as a community to end the bloodshed. The bullet with the question mark asks “What’s next?”
The purpose behind my vision quilt is against gun violence that is happening and affecting families all over the country. The image on the quilt symbolizes a faceless girl who is unidentified of her nationality. This is because I wanted to show that anyone from any nationality or gender can be shot. It is not just people of color or white people being killed. It is not one life that matters, it’s all lives that matter. This is the message behind my vision quilt.
My inspiration behind my quilt panel was the inner child. I saw multiple bright colors as a way of keeping oneself happy. I drew a group of people holding hands as a symbol of coming together, showing love and spreading it to others. My slogan was “And we’ll rise up” meaning the good will overcome the bad. When looking at the quilt, remember that the world is your stage and everyone plays a specific part I n your life; whether it’s big or small. We all learn to work, learn, love and grow together in our own ways.
Violence usually begins with some form of hate. Whether it be revenge, envy, or retaliation. The human mind becomes vulnerable to extreme wrath once the mind is obscured from common sense. This project reflects a murderers experience on gun violence. A murders motive is to seek satisfaction and remove the victim out of the picture with bloodshed. In reality the murderer will eventually “see” the monstrosity that he really is. As his hatred averts its focus to himself, he will realize he doesn’t want satisfaction; he wants forgiveness. As his victim lay forever in silence, the murderer is forbidden from ever receiving that forgiveness.
My piece for the Vision Quilt is black and white. The letters “S.O.S” stand for “Save Our Souls”. They’re made by different types of guns in order to show how many there are. The border in my piece is made out of barb wire to show that there is no escape to the violence. People want to end violence, but they’re fighting it with more violence. Gun violence shouldn’t be part of the social norm. This quilt piece is to show that we need to put a stop to gun violence. We need to make the world safer so kids can go outside to play and not be scared of getting caught 0r shootings.
The message I want to portray with my piece is that America is hurting itself, more than helping it. Gun violence is a war within itself for America. The paint splatter represents the bloodshed in war and how violent, and full of hate war is. The flag is not perfect, the lines are not straight, and the stars are not even stars. America has a lot of things it needs to fix, it is not perfect. The soldier is hurt, he has bullet wounds and scratches, this a very literal representation of how soldiers are disposable to America.
My piece, We Make the World, is about how every group in the world makes up the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re White, Black, Muslim, a part of the LGBTQ+ community or any religion that you are. So in my piece I’m showing that if we all come together as a whole and stop fighting each other and killing each other we can have peace in the world and we can stop gun violence. In my piece I’m showing that we don’t need violence among all of these groups we can just have each other and instead of killing one another every day for no reason.
As a citizen of Chicago, I worry about my daily safety. To voice my opinion I made a vision quilt that protest against gun violence in Chicago. In the painting there is a gun that is firing four bullets which fall into a pile of blood. Inside the blood there are four bullets and a few other objects that have a connection to gun violence in Chicago. For example the badge in the blood is known as the police because the most recent crimes have been categorized as police brutality. It meaningful to me because others fear for their lives just as much as I do and I want them to know they are not alone.