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Kin Killin' Kin Exhibit at Central Library Inspires Community Dialogue

August 12, 2014

A powerful and thought-provoking exhibit of images intended as a call-to-action against gun violence in the African-American community is on display through September 28 at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street. Mayor Greg Ballard joined Library and community representatives in cutting the crime-scene ribbon on August 12 to officially open the exhibit.

The national traveling exhibit, "Kin Killin' Kin," created by Dayton, Ohio artist James Pate, is the centerpiece of The Indianapolis Public Library's two-month "Stand4Peace" initiative that encourages individuals of all ages, especially youth and community leaders, to engage in dialogue toward finding solutions to black-on-black crime.

In addition to Pate's 13-image collection that illustrates the tragedy of black violence, the overall Library display pays homage to the growing number of local homicide victims as depicted in newspaper clippings and other items surrounding the images. Visitors are invited to sign the Stand4Peace Declaration, offer comments in a guest book, and view a video of youth expressing their personal reactions through art and poetry.

"The series may give the impression that I am launching an attack on the hip-hop movement of the last twenty years and the behavior that creates violence," stated Pate. "However, my art does not focus on the visible sore that results from violence, but the originating germ that breeds the dysfunction."

Following an already impressive artistic career in which he has received the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and Best of Show at the Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Pate currently designs instructional methods for encouraging at-risk students to stay in school for the Dayton Public Schools. He is also engaged in graphic design projects and fine arts production.

kkk.jpgThe public is invited to a free presentation by Pate in commemoration of the International Day of Peace on Saturday, September 20 at 2 p.m. in Central Library's Clowes Auditorium. The presentation will be followed by a meet-and-greet autograph session with the artist. The Indy Library also will host high school and college students on days when Pate will discuss self-expression and using art as an agent for change. Middle school and high school groups also are encouraged to experience the exhibit, after which they will be led in a dialogue session by trained facilitators to discuss the difficult issues related to youth violence. Visits can be scheduled by calling 275-4222.

"We feel strongly that the Library is everyone's place to come together to learn and discuss important issues and commonly shared challenges," said Jackie Nytes, Library CEO. "We encourage everyone to experience the exhibit, take time to connect with neighbors, and make time to sign the Stand4Peace Declaration at Central Library."

Online visitors at http://www.indypl.org/events/kinexhibit can learn more about the exhibit and its creator, as well as available Library resources dealing with violence and conflict resolution, including those for children. The site also links to other local organizations involved in the peace initiative and gives visitors a chance to share comments on the issue.

"Kin Killin' Kin" is a nationally traveling exhibition organized by EbonNia Gallery and Shango: Center for the Study of African American Art and Culture and supported by the DP&L Foundation. It is presented by the Library's African-American History Committee and curated by noted national artist and educator Willis Bing Davis. The exhibit is open for viewing during regular Library hours in Central Library's South Display Hall.