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I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now

Exhibition Details

I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now, Boris Bally, Curator
Co-presented by Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design and Maryville University
April 5 – May 13, 2018

Maryville University Opening Reception:
Thursday, April 5, 5- 8pm
Morton J. May Foundation Gallery

Conversation Towards Peace
Thursday, April 5, 7pm
Maryville Auditorium 

A week of events complementing the exhibit begins with “Conversation Towards Peace,” a co-hosted panel discussion at Maryville University. The moderator is 5 On Your Side anchor Art Holliday, award-winning KSDK newscaster. Panelists include Boris Bally, artist, curator and metalsmith; Geriann Brandt, assistant professor and director of Maryville University’s Criminal Justice program; and Becky Tingle, CRC, PLPC, children’s therapist at ALIVE, Inc. Additional panelists to be announced. The panel will discuss the effects of gun violence in our everyday lives.

Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design Opening Reception:
Friday, April 6, from 6:30 – 8:30pm
Boris Bally Curator’s talk, 5:30 – 6:30pm

Thursday, April 12, 4pm
Maryville Auditorium 

Matt Donovan will read excerpts from Gun Shy, his book-length work-in-progress that delves deep into America’s gun culture. Donovan is an acclaimed author whose works include A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption and two collections of poetry – Vellum and Rapture & the Big Bam.

Saturday, April 14, 7-9 p.m.
The Stage at KDHX in Grand Center

In partnership with the Saint Louis Poetry Center, local poets and activists will read from the anthology Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence.

The Innovative Merger of Art & Guns to Inspire New Expressions, or I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now exhibition, is a call to arms, hearts, and hands … for contemporary metal artists. - Curator Boris Bally

Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design partners with Maryville University to present I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now, a powerful traveling exhibition created as a positive response to the rising tide of gun violence in America. Conceived by metalsmith Boris Bally, the exhibition features works by some 100 artists who have crafted sculptures using decommissioned firearms collected during community buy-back programs.

Gun violence is at the forefront of everyone’s mind in America. We are all affected in some way by this complex issue. When curator, artist, and activist, Boris Bally was living in Pittsburgh in 1994, he became affiliated with the Pittsburgh Anti-Violence Coalition. Since then, Bally has directed his craft to re-configure ruined buy-back guns into artworks that explore non-violence.

Throughout history, artists have served as the voices and illustrators of movements for change. In that vein, Bally asked contemporary artists to use their unique skills and perspectives to advocate for positive change in response to gun violence. The works in this two-gallery exhibition highlight the skill and beauty—as well as the danger and fear—evoked by metalsmithing, craft techniques, and materials that form both sculptures and guns alike. These artworks demonstrate respect for the craft that goes into making weapons, even as they comment on the ultimate purpose of those objects.

I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now has had celebrated receptions in a number of respected institutions throughout the country. The exhibition has previously been staged at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville, Kentucky; Art Seed in New Albany, Indiana; the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, Massachusetts; and the Wellington B. Gray Gallery at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. We ask that you take time to look and listen to each voice.

We all bring different points of view and experiences to this dialogue shaping our country today.

We want to graciously thank those who helped underwrite these exhibitions, Carol and Michael Staenberg, Marie and Stuart Block, Allison and John Ferring, Diane and David Katzman and an anonymous donor.

Boris Bally and I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now A Swiss-trained, active studio metalsmith, Bally has shown work in numerous exhibitions and has been invited to serve as a juror for State Fellowship programs and national exhibitions over the past four decades. In 1996, he became affiliated with Pittsburgh’s Antiviolence Coalition Gun Buy-Back Program and began dismantling their weapons for use in political art. His exhibition, Artists of a Different Caliber, opened a year later in the Hewlett Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University and toured nationally. The Smithsonian Institution purchased work from that exhibition for their permanent collection.

Jurors of the exhibition include: Emily Zilber (Boston MFA), Monica Moses (American Craft Magazine), Shepard Fairey (Artist), and Boris Bally. These jurors selected work based on overall design, skill, and impact. The exhibition opened at East Carolina University, then traveled to Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, and on to Lexington, Kentucky.

I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now catalogs for sale in the gallery ($60)

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I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now catalogs for sale in the gallery ($60)