On Monday, April 8, less than three miles from the home of the National Rifle Association, a yellow school bus riddled with more than 6,000 rounds will go on display.
The piece is part of a larger art installation called "The Newtown Project: Art Targets Guns," opening this weekend at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Northwest D.C. "The Incident," as the school bus piece is called, will then move to George Mason University's main campus in Fairfax, Va., less than three miles from NRA headquarters. Rounds were shot at the school bus from assault rifles, shot-guns and semi-automatic weapons.
The display comes some four months after a mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. that killed 20 children and seven adults, plus the shooter. Sid Fowler, the pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ, says the community spent many hours discussing whether to exhibit the bus outside the church where children could see it. Eventually, the church decided to show it in an alley nearby instead.
"We had mixed feelings because we knew the power of it... not everyone was of the same mind and some didn't want us to show it at all. We don't want to be exploitative," he said. But reading the account of a six-year-old boy who died after being hit by 11 bullets in Newtown changed Fowler's mind.
"You have to try to imagine that and respond as a human. Art calls upon us to not just see this in terms of casual news reporting, but also be deeply engaged."
"The Incident" was created by Canadian visual artist Viktor Mitic and is dedicated to those who have died from gun violence. The installation was organized by foreign correspondent-turned-local art curator Charles Krause.
See more photos below:
(Photo Credit: Viktor Mitic/John Drajewic)