Gun violence is a national epidemic that touches every community in America. The sheer scale of this epidemic often reduces victims of gun violence to statistics and ideas of change to empty promises. The memorial seeks to preserve individual memories and communicate the magnitude of the gun violence epidemic in built space, hoping to foster a national healing process that begins with a recognition of our collective loss and its impact on society. MASS is partnering with conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas, and gun violence prevention organizations Purpose Over Pain and Everytown for Gun Safety on this project.
The memorial design features four houses built of 700 glass bricks, each house representing the average number of lives lost due to gun violence each week in America. Families who have lost a loved one due to gun violence contributed remembrance objects at in-person collection events.
The St. Louis Arts Chamber of Commerce is currently working with MASS Designs to bring the exhibit to St. Louis. Additionally we are creating an exterior version that will be included in neighborhood revitalization efforts. There are two of the call house memorials planned for vacant lots along the Hodiamont Greenway. However, instead of focusing on gun violence, the neighborhoods have opted to focus on the history of their neighborhoods and the artists, politicians and influences their neighborhood has had on the city and the world.
Stay tuned to see how you too can participate in the project created to bring healing to those individuals affected by gun violence as well as create a neighborhood gathering space. Volunteers are needed for all phases of the project from clearing space, pouring foundation, building the structure and creating the flower beds around the structures.
To complement the glass houses being created above, the Stl Arts Chamber is working with the Story Corps project to create oral histories of the experiences of the residents in the neighborhoods. University students are interviewing residents to collect their stories. The stories are recorded and will be included in the Library of Congress. If you would like to participate, indicate your interest on our volunteer sign up.