For about 12 hours Saturday, local artist Peter Quinn and a team of volunteers drew thousands of chalk body outlines across all four lanes of John F. Kennedy Boulevard, from 20th Street to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.
Quinn describes “American Casualties: A Drawing,” as a community art project intended as “a visual image of the devastation of gun violence in America each year.”
A child skips across new chalk memorials Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia’s LOVE Park, shortly after a flash mob performance which was intended “to promote the awareness of the devastating effects of gun violence.” Photographs for the Gun Crisis Reporting Project by Jim MacMillan.
At the stroke of noon, participants raised their arms and fell slowly to the ground.
Next, they outlined each other in chalk and labeled each figure to represent gun violence victims, issues and incidents.
One Year is an exploration of the public apathy towards rising urban violence.
The wire creates beautifully intricate shapes to portray each loss as a complex individual, while each vessel’s shadow speaks to the inter-connectedness of victim/perpetrator, mourner/mourned, body/soul.
Artists Janice Hayes-Cha, Brenda Howell, Karen Hunter McLaughlin, Julie Mann and Kimberly Mehler are participating in the project, which will be on display through February 10th. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. A First Friday reception is scheduled for February 1st, from 5:30 – 7 p.m.
The installation was inspired by the action and resilience of Mothers in Charge, whose work transforms grief and aims to prevent this violence, according to paintedbride.org.