BOSTON - A provocative new exhibit called “I.M.A.G.I.N.E Peace Now” is trying to bridge the gap in the polarizing debate about gun control.
About 100 decommissioned guns have been turned into art with the goal of prompting some civil conversations.
The exhibit, which is free, is at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston’s Seaport District until June 10.
Artists who specialize in working with metal were asked to stretch their imaginations on how an old gun could be given a new lease on life.
“Every artist is going to take a different approach. Some artists chose to dismantle the gun completely,” explained Associate Curator Louiza deCamargo. “Some artists chose to take a funny spin on it, make a joke out of it. It’s really each person's unique perspective.”
There is one gun that has been made into a pizza cut with a parmesan grater. Another into a working drill. One was fashioned into part of an espresso machine and is called “Single Shot.”
Other pieces are more serious, like one that is a tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook and is studded with baby teeth.
Although some of the guns are vintage, deCamargo said others are not.
“We have a few of guns in this exhibition that are mass produced, and in quantity, and their only goal is to be out on the street. They’re not a gun that somebody guarding their home or their family would necessarily count on.”
DeCamargo dismisses the idea this exhibit goes against the second amendment.
“No way. This is a pro-peace exhibition. First and foremost this is pro-peace. I hope that it inspires people to think creatively and think out of the box. This is an exhibition that doesn’t scream loudly. A lot of these pieces have a certain amount of depth.”
The show was the idea of Providence artist Boris Bally. Frustrated after seeing so many mass shootings, he obtained all these guns after a police department collected them in a buyback program.
“An artist should be able to do something positive to change people’s outlook on a problem," said Bally.
He added many of the creations address serious issues, “war, suicide, or domestic violence. So no matter how we talk about these things, and what comes from that talk, what legislation is done, or which safety issues come forward, I think it could save a life, or lives."
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