Rhode Island School of Design Launches RISD Stands Against Gun Violence, a Multidisciplinary Initiative Honoring Victims of Gun Violence

April 5, 2019

Marking the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, the initiative includes interactive programming, a digital quilt display featuring work by the RISD community and a campus exhibition

PROVIDENCE, RI – In honor and remembrance of the victims of the rampant gun violence that plagues America, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) will launch a multidisciplinary community response this month, marking the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre on April 20. Programming includes interactive art making at the RISD Museum, a large digital quilt display and a campus exhibition featuring work that responds to gun violence.

“Last November, after the 307th incident of gun violence in the US in 2018 alone, Vice President of Social Equity + Inclusion Matthew Shenoda and I called for RISD to respond in a unique way that would transcend simple statements of values and sympathy,” notes RISD President Rosanne Somerson. “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.”

One Gun Gone presents Running with Numbers
April 20, 1–4 pm
Contemporary Art Gallery, RISD Museum, 20 North Main Street, Providence

A public art project by Scott Lapham BFA 90 PH, One Gun Gone takes one gun off the street, makes art from that gun and then sells that art to fund a gun buyback sanctioned by law enforcement. In the process, One Gun Gone youth members from neighborhoods most affected by gun violence are exposed to people, places, organizations and careers they may not otherwise encounter in their day-to-day lives. Participants in this program will have the opportunity to help create two new pieces, Floor Peace and School Days. Videos created collaboratively by One Gun Gone youth members will also be on view. Visitors to the space will learn about actions they can support legislatively in Rhode Island to create safer neighborhoods for all of us. This program is presented in the Museum’s Repair and Design Futures exhibit and sponsored by RISD. Free with admission.

Digital Quilt Display
April 22–26, 8:00–10 pm
Exterior of RISD Auditorium in Market Square, 17 Canal Walk, Providence
Exterior of 20 Washington Place, Providence (along Steeple Street)
Digital screens in 20 Washington Place, the Met, Portfolio Café and the RISD Museum

Beginning on the evening of April 22 and running for five nights, a digital quilt compiled by Marie Otsuka MFA 18 GD and Carson Evans MFA 18 GD will be projected on the exterior walls of the RISD Auditorium and 20 Washington Place. A collection of almost 30 submissions from faculty, staff, students and community members, the quilt will also be displayed on screens throughout campus and in the Museum.

Gun Violence Exhibition
April 17–May 31
Lobby, 20 Washington Place

A selection of the entries created for the digital quilt that speak to different approaches artists have taken in creating work for the project will be installed in the lobby of 20 Washington Place.

About Rhode Island School of Design
The mission of RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”), through its college and museum, is to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship and innovation. Our immersive model of art and design education emphasizes robust liberal arts studies and conceptually driven studio-based learning in full-time bachelor's and master's degree programs across 19 majors. RISD's exceptional faculty foster student growth and development in extensive specialized facilities, enabling students to become confident, cross-disciplinary thinkers and nimble problem-solvers ready to confront the complexities of global practice in the 21st century. Nearly 30,000 alumni worldwide testify to the impact of a RISD education, exemplifying the vital role artists and designers play in defining global innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. For more information, visit risd.edu and our.risd.edu.