Quilt exhibit at San Jose museum takes on gun violence

Bay Area

The time-honored art of quilting may seem like an odd medium for expressing one’s views about guns and gun violence.

But now that’s exactly why people are beating a path to a new, if somewhat controversial exhibit at a museum in San Jose. 

“Guns: Loaded Conversations” is the latest show at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. 

The politically-themed exhibit is a collection from artists who have something to say about gun violence. 

Patron Judi Venuto of San Lorenzo is very impressed.

“I’m a quilter myself so seeing this in terms of the social impact is just a little on the awesome side,” she said.

Produced by artists from across the country, the various works depict lax gun laws while paying tribute to the victims of gun violence. 

The museum insists it isn’t taking sides, but there is a growing number of activist quilters who are doing just that, says director Nancy Bavor.

“Our idea is to prove a place for understanding, education, and civil discourse, and the museum has an obligation to engage the community in talking about this very controversial issue,” Bavor said.

Two years and hundreds of hours in the making, the 30 plus quilts tell the stories of Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant among others while paying tribute to those who died in mass shootings at Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, and schools across the nation.

“I’m just a little in awe since many of these were done by kids… I’m very proud,” Venuto said.

Visitors can join the conversation too by placing a shell casing in the slot that best represents their views on guns and gun violence. 



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