A medium that is soft, warm and welcoming might just be the ideal outlet to discuss the cold, hard facts about gun violence in America. This is the thinking behind the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles exhibitions, “Guns: Loaded Conversations,” created in conjunction with Studio Art Quilt Associates and “Generation of Change: A Movement, Not a Moment,” a collaboration with the East Bay-based Social Justice Sewing Academy.
The exhibits include a display of artwork and related programming designed to spark conversation and generate understanding about the issues surrounding guns in America today. Recognizing that art can be
a catalyst for change, “Guns: Loaded Conversations” is designed to engage people with differing opinions
to listen to each other and encourage community initiatives to confront gun violence.
“Generation of Change” features quilts created by teenagers crafted with the help of adult sewing mentors. Through textile art, young people are empowered to be innovative and look for ways to solve issues in their communities. The quilts and other textile pieces in the exhibition present a powerful message on the effects of gun violence and the social and political reality surrounding the issue.
The museum is also partnering with the city of San Jose, Calif., the San Jose Police Department and the Police Foundation to sponsor “Quilts + Cash for Guns,” a gun buy-back program. Gun owners will be able to turn in their guns without risk of prosecution, and they will receive cash and a quilt. For more information, visit www.sjquiltmuseum.org.