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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY -- Spring Street Gallery, an award-winning not-for-profit gallery in Saratoga Springs, New York, announces a visual art exhibit, film screenings and discussions on the subject of guns. "The Gun Show" opens Saturday, April 9, 5-7pm, and features more than a dozen artists, writers, historians and community groups from the Capital Region and beyond who offer a broad range of experience and responses to the topic.
The visual artists in "The Gun Show" all use guns as iconography, or guns were involved in the creation of their work. For example, Michael Oatman is presenting a 10-foot-high "gun case" in the form of a ladder, made from 1:1 scale images of guns. Rabbi Linda Motzkin presents drawings and Hebrew scripture on parchment she hand-makes from deerskin provided by Adirondack hunters. Painter Samson Contampassis created a splatter painting using paint cans and a double-barrel shotgun, inspired by the work of William S. Burroughs. Artist Margaret Roleke uses spent bullet cases to decorate her wall-mounted sculptures, and screenprints bright graphics directly onto gun-range targets. Artist Michael Millspaugh is presenting a series of whimsical, handcarved, gun-toting figures, each standing on the threshold of their domestic "homesteads."
Community groups and historians are also included in the exhibit. A public art piece created by members of the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church—meant as a remembrance of 2015's 355 mass shooting incidents--will be on display at "The Gun Show." Arms historian Charles Wheeler is presenting several ornate, handmade antique firearms dating from the 1740s through the 1880s, and will also be hosting a workshop and discussion of historic firearms on Saturday, April 16.
Each artist, collector and historian has a personal history and viewpoint on guns, but the exhibits and the participating artists are not driven by political agendas.
"The media might have us believe that 'pro-gun' and 'anti-gun' people are at irreconcilable odds in this country," said Maureen Sager, Executive Director of Spring Street Gallery. "But these divides do not seem to exist in the artists and people we've met while organizing this show. There is so much nuance—as well as deeply felt personal perspective and responsibility—being presented here, and we hope that these artists and groups will inspire new thought, understanding and conversations throughout the region."
"The Gun Show" was organized by Maureen Sager, Belinda Colon, and Benj Gleeksman, who were helped by curators and administrators from Albany Center Gallery, Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Center (LARAC), Lake George Arts Project, the Tang Teaching Museum, Albany Barn, Black Dimensions in Art and other organizations, in an effort to identify artists, writers and collectors with geographic, ethnic, political and age diversity on the topic.
Lecture, "Woman the Hunter," Mary Stange, Professor, Skidmore College -- Thursday, May 5, 7pm
Presentation, "Historic Firearms from 1740s through 1880s," Charlie Wheeler, Arms Historian, Saratoga Springs, NY -- Saturday, April 16, 2pm
Presented by Saratoga Film Forum in partnership with Saratogians for Gun Safety, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, WMHT, Independent Lens, and Independent Lens Pop Ups.