By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
The Experimental Station will present an exhibit addressing the impact of the new Firearm Concealed Carry legislation in Illinois that went into effect on Jan. 1.
On July 2, Illinois became the last state in the nation to allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons. The law officially went into effect on Jan. 1. Connie Spreen, executive director of Experimental Station, said the exhibit and its accompanying discussion forums were organized to create awareness and give Illinois residents time to reflect on how this will impact their lives.
The exhibit will be held from Jan. 9 to Jan. 23 at Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone Ave. An opening reception will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 9, and the exhibit will be open for public viewing from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, Jan. 10 to Jan. 23.
Former Chicago Public Radio host Steve Edwards will lead two public conversations about how the new legislation will affect the private and public lives of residents of Illinois from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Jan. 14 and Jan. 22. The first conversation will be a forum for people to reflect on how the law will affect their daily lives. The second conversation will address questions and concerns that arise from the first meeting.
Spreen said she and Jamie Kalven, who also works with Experimental Station, came up with the idea for the exhibit after speaking with Gov. Pat Quinn about visible signs that will now have to be posted by private property owners who do not want people to carry weapons on their property.
“We wanted to find out what artists,’ designers’ approach would be to expressing this issue,” Spreen said.
The organization selected a variety of artists for its exhibit including David Bowen, EC Brown, Margaret Crowley, Chiara Galimberti, James Goggin, Audrey Green, Kite Collective, Barbara Koenen, Elizabeth LeFauve, Jeff Pinzino, Jennifer Ray, Jesse Seay, Russ White, Haley Rose Martin, Cáit Ni Siomón, Marina Miliou-Theocharaki and Carolina Fernandez Del Dago.
“We selected the artist looking at a variety of types of work and content,” Spreen said of the exhibit, which includes paintings, sculptures and performance art screenings.
“Some people are not even aware that this law has passed,” Spreen said. “Our daily life is going to be altered. Weapons will be present on a regular basis.”