Gun Show

Coup d’Espace Project by John James Anderson

Above: John James Anderson, It’s a Political Statement, 2011, Charcoal and graphite on paper, 11″ x 14″

Dates: August 12 – September 2, 2011
Location: WPA Office, 2023 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC

Opening Reception: August 12, 2011, 6:00-8:00pm

For the exhibition Gun Show, artist John James Anderson approached the gun control debate by focusing on two distinct but often overlapping narratives: coping with violent crime and interpretation of the Second Amendment, specifically the conflict between the individual’s right to bear arms and the government’s authority to regulate their sale and possession. Approaching a heated, emotional discussion from a dispassionate, almost clinical, perspective, the artist collected facts, statistics, and newspaper articles, synthesized the information, and presented it through hand-drawn quotes, charts, and video. Focusing on DC’s unique and well-documented roles in both the debate over gun rights and discussions of gun violence, Anderson approached the topic as a concerned citizen, attempting to untangle a complex and contentious issue.

John James Anderson is an associate professor of art at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland. He has taught at the American University, George Washington University, George Mason University, and the Corcoran College of Art and Design. He is the recipient of several grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, including two Young Artist Grants and a 2011 Artist Fellowship. Anderson received his MFA from American University, Washington, DC and BFA from Iowa State University, Ames, IA. He has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in venues including Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA; American University Museum, Washington, DC; The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Farm Center, Washington, DC; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and the Athens Institute of Contemporary Art, Athens, GA. Anderson is also a contributing writer for the Washington City Paper.