New art exhibit brings awareness to Chicago's battle against gun violence

A new art exhibit in the city's River North neighborhood hopes to bring some three dimensional awareness to Chicago’s battle against gun violence, and it's no accident the art is on display during the most violent months of the year.

- A new art exhibit in the city's River North neighborhood hopes to bring some three dimensional awareness to Chicago’s battle against gun violence, and it's no accident the art is on display during the most violent months of the year.

Garland Martin Taylor's exhibit will have you literally dodging bullets. But even though his artwork speaks to guns and gun violence, he says don't call him an activist; Call him an activator.

“How can I help? I'm not a marcher. I'm not a community organizer, but I do have these materials and can make them speak,” Taylor said.

And the idea is to spark a conversation, to think about the 380 lives lost already this year due to gun violence.

His inspiration comes from several places, even humor.

Comedian Chris Rock recently suggested a fix to the problem with gun violence might be as simple as raising the cost of bullets.

“It was about if you can make bullets more expensive then you can help curtail gun violence. And at one point I was joking with my wife about what would a $100 bullet look like and that's how I started putting these material together,” Taylor said.

So he tied guitar string to single fired shell casings, glued on locks of his own hair and added the feathers from jungle fowl.

“I call them yard birds. They have their own personalities and each one is different.  LIke these lives lost,” Taylor said.

His installation, the flight, is part of a larger, three part piece at Weinberg Newton Gallery called "This Heat."

“It's an issue that's on the lips of all Chicagoans and everybody's list of terrible issues across the country,” said David Weinberg of Weinberg Newton Gallery.

Another artist has used an entire wall of the gallery to show a 2010 month by month look at murder cases.

“It's just very impactful to look at on any given day in June or July and see how much violence is going on,” Weinberg said.

The third part of the exhibit includes a performance art video, with a couple of dozen shirts airbrushed with the faces of murder victims.

Artists speaking volumes, without saying a word.

Taylor's installation called ‘The Flight’ runs through September 24th.

Taylor will sell the bullets for $100 each. Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Illinois Council on Handgun Violence.

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