Bolivar exhibit brings attention to gun violence


UNLOADED is a group art show curated by Susanne Slavick. The show features art touching on the issues surrounding the use of firearms and the impact guns have in modern day society. Mel Chin’s ‘Cross for the Unforgiven’ is a piece featured in the show. The Bolivar Art Gallery is located in the School of Art and Visual Studies building on UK’s campus. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

In a time when gun violence is at an all time high and gun control is being heavily debated, commentary on the issue has come in many forms. A multimedia art exhibit called “Unloaded” is showing at the Bolivar Gallery in the UK School of Visual Arts and Studies from Jan. 20 through Feb. 18 and gives multiple perspectives on gun culture.

The exhibit features art by UK Alumna Natalie Baxter as well as both domestic and international artists. With a diverse array of art mediums, the presentation gives commentary in many different ways. Unloaded includes everything from a video projection of a hot dog holding a gun to a sculpture of a cross made of AK-47s. 

Each piece of art brings a different perspective to the topic and speaks to a different context. The pieces center on influencers like age, gender and ethnicity.

While some of the art is eccentric and bizarre, the tone of the gallery is melancholy and serious. The curator, Suzanne Slavick, is a professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University and told UK Now that she focuses most of her art on violence related issues.

“For over a decade, my work as an artist, and more recently as a curator, has dealt with violence, primarily the violence of war and its aftermath,” Slavick said.

While the gallery is small, an immense amount of work went into creating the full package. One of the featured artists, Nina Berman, travelled the country photographing military drills, swat team training and other situations involving violence. While the series attempts to bring attention to our culture’s obsession with violence, the art leaves the viewer to interpret the meaning and message.

The exhibit will run for two more weeks at the Bolivar center at 236 Bolivar Street and features art from Lauren Adams, Baxter, Berman, Joshua Bienko, Casey Li Brander, Anthony Cervino, Chin, Cathy Colman, Dadpranks, Duesing, Fenlon, German, Jinshan, Andrew Ellis Johnson, Jennifer Nagle Myers, Adrian Piper, Don Porcella, Slavick, Stout and Stephanie Syjuco.


What: Unloaded

When: Jan. 20 through Feb. 18

Where: Bolivar Art Gallery

Tickets: FREE