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The Gun Show

Valerie Mann's avatar Valerie Mann

The Gun Show is a collection of evening gowns and handbags. Each evening gown is specific to a mass shooting – for instance, the red ‘Sunday Best’ features the a glock – used at the Emmanuel AME church shooting in Charleston, S.C. 2 years ago. The accompanying labels for each gown give factual details. I thought about this project a lot before I committed to making it. It was easier before I started the making process. I don’t mean the physical making of the work was so taxing, I mean it was psychologically difficult. It was easier when I approached the issue of mass shootings from a place of strong opinion and less knowledge. The project got more difficult as I researched mental illness, gun ownership, enforcement of firearm purchasing laws and details of each mass shooting. This installation is intended to elicit conversation about a subject that affects us all, whether directly or indirectly. At my reception last August, I heard amazing conversations all around me.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Installation
  • Depth: 14 feet
  • Medium: fabric, thread, vintage dress forms, wood, latex paint, acrylic
  • Width: 20 feet
  • Year created: 2016
  • Height: 6 feet