One of the USA’s best-known art schools is taking a stand against the “rampant gun violence” that continues to plague America.
Students at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) have launched what the institute describes as a “multidisciplinary community response,” to the problem, marking 20 years since the Columbine massacre, one of the deadliest school shootings in American history.
These responses include Running with Numbers, an artwork willed into being by RISD-student Scott Lapham. A gun is taken off the streets, art is made with that gun, the art is sold, and then that money is invested into a local law enforcement-supported gun buyback scheme. The idea is to offer residents of neighbourhoods plagued by gun violence a chance to gain exposure to “people, places, organizations and careers they may not otherwise encounter in their day-to-day lives,” with community-minded art being a facilitator for experience.
In addition to this, a digital quilt – displaying anti-gun-crime rhetoric and works contributed by students from across the RISD spectrum, as well as material donated by faculty members and staff at the school – will be on display too.
RISD President Rosanne Somerson says: “Though we live in a time when violent acts and rhetoric incite fear and seek to diminish our common human experience, at RISD we are building on the potential of human experience. I am proud of the ways in which our community has come together to create a collective response to this critical social issue.”