CALL TO DISARM by artist Jan Gilbert

Jan Gilbert has a long history of interest and work with an archival past.

In the work shown below, she addressed the searing murder epidemic plaguing New Orleans, as well as so many other cities in the U.S. Call to DisArm springs from the act of collecting obituaries of New Orleans gunshot victims. In May of 2002, Gilbert was traveling in a small group with a young artist. His brother had been buried the day before – one of the many lost from gunshots on the streets of New Orleans. Returning home, she searched for the obituary and tore it out placing it next to her bed in a small gesture of commemoration. The next day there was another, then another, and another. Hundreds later, the stack is staggering. The TIMES PICAYUNE, since Katrina, no longer details cause of death “gunshot’ in its obits.” “In 2007 New Orleans was ranked as the #1 city for murders in the United States. We had to do something; that response was crafted by a deacon in training, The Rev. Elaine Clemments. The response was the ‘Rose Ministry’ and ‘Murder Board’ which sought to humanize this urban holocaust.” See also www.stannanola.org/church-life/st-annas-history/.

Wall at St. Anna’s Church New Orleans. Note the long list of names as well as collage of obituaries for victims in shooting.

Call to Disarm, 6. From http://www.jangilbertart.com/wp/call-to-disarm-imprint/. With permission of Jan Gilbert.

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