In the 1990s, the New Orleans murder rate exploded. In 1996, 350 people were killed—the highest number in the city’s history, and the highest rate in the nation. In response to this crisis, gallery owner and artist Jonathan Ferrara and artist Brian Borrello, launched a powerful project: Guns in the Hands of Artists. Over sixty artists, including painters, glass artists, sculptors, photographers, and poets, used decommissioned guns taken off the city streets via a gun buyback program to express a thought, make a statement, open a discussion, and to stimulate thinking about guns and gun violence in America.
As gun violence continues to devastate the nation on a daily basis, Guns in the Hands of Artists reemerged in 2012 as a community-based social activist art project that has since traveled to six cities across the US. Using art as a mirror for life and interweaving the works of thirty diverse artists with the voices of seventeen national thought leaders, this book is an important outgrowth of the exhibition and an extension of its efforts to employ art as a vehicle for dialogue, as a call to action, and—ultimately—as an agent of change.
Essays by: Walter Isaacson, Senator Tim Kaine, Lupe Fiasco, Richard Ford, Joe Nocera, Trymaine Lee, Lolis Eric Elie, John M. Barry, Dan Cameron, Lucia McBath, Harry Shearer, Jonathan Ferrara, Brian Borrello, Maria Cuomo Cole, Michael Waldman, E. Ethelbert Miller, Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly.
More about Mr. Ferrara at his gallery website, HERE.
To hear our interview with Jonathan Ferrara, click on the grey podcast bar below: