Over two years, I worked with Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles to create the Exit Wounds Collaborative Art Project. The works blended collaged narratives created by formerly incarcerated and gang-involved youth with my Bullet Blossoms (2010) series. Individuals told their stories through their own personal photographs, original art, letters, and unconventional objects like hand-painted handkerchiefs, x-rays, and billiard balls. With direction from the participants, I shot the works off-site with a .45 caliber handgun. I then painted poppy blossoms around the “exit wounds” to address healing and hope co-existing with violence and despair. Twelve original works from the project were on view at the Hi-Lite Project Space in Downtown Los Angeles from March 19-April 14, 2011. All proceeds benefitted Homeboy Industries. Selected works were also exhibited throughout Los Angeles as part of the Craft and Folk Art Museum’s Folk Art Everywhere Program through 2013.
Wanderlust Industries Films created this wonderful film about Homeboy Industries and the Exit Wounds Project: https://vimeo.com/61309930