"Honoring each Philadelphia homicide victim with art"- WHYY Radio interview
"Artists continue their work memorializing every Philadelphia homicide victim of 2012"- Newsworks.org
Artists continue their work memorializing every Philadelphia homicide victim of 2012 MamaCita artists (l-r) Julie Mann, Karen Hunter McLaughlin, Brenda Howell, Kimberly Mehler and Janice Hayes-Cha, will be working throughout 2012 to create an installation piece inspired by the nonprofit, grassroots organization Mothers In Charge. One Year is an exploration of the public apathy towards rising urban violence. Through the creation of hundreds of sculptural wire vessels– one for each murder in Philadelphia in 2012– One Year examines the numbing of society towards this epidemic.
Every victim leaves behind a mourner: mother, father, loved one. One Year is a memorial to both sides of the tragedy. The wire creates beautifully intricate shapes to portray each loss as a complex individual, while each vessel's shadow speaks to the inter-connectedness of victim/perpetrator, mourner/mourned, body/soul. Installed together, the sheer number of deaths is undeniably devastating. The voices of mothers remind us of the desolation left behind. The installation was inspired by the action and resilience of Mothers in Charge, whose work transforms grief and aims to prevent this violence.
Our collaborator, Mothers In Charge, was founded by Dorothy Johnson-Speight as a community advocacy and support organization for families affected by violence. After Dorothy's 24 year-old son was murdered over a parking space in December 2001, she joined forces with other mothers to save lives. Mothers In Charge challenges societal complacency and channels personal grief into positive action.
The mission of Mothers In Charge is to prevent violence by providing education and mentoring for young adults while also supporting mothers and families. To help out, MamaCita members are mentoring young women through monthly art workshops at the organization's North Philly location.
Our project's goal is to inform and inspire social change in Philadelphia and beyond. We believe art is an important tool in a holistic approach to preventing violence and supporting mothers and young people in our city.
This project is funded in part through a Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant.
One Year will debut at the Painted Bride, January 1- February 8. Reception invite HERE (PDF)