Minneapolis exhibit explores the horrors of gun violence

Every day in America, someone loses their life to gun violence. In a new exhibit, a local artist explores the widespread impact of what some deem a public health crisis.

"Everyone is affected by one shooting, everyone," said artist Nikki McComb during an interview with FOX 9's Bisi Onile-Ere.

Her most recent work is on display at the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery in north Minneapolis. The exhibit is called "Full Circle, The Ricochet of Gun Violence."

"There’s so many hopes for me, I want people to see and realize and understand that this is a real issue. It’s affecting people of all walks of life," said McComb.

McComb shows FOX 9 her painting of KD. (FOX 9)

The pieces showcase some familiar faces and some stories that have gone untold. During a walkthrough of the gallery, McComb singled one out: "This is KD, he was walking downtown, and he was shot."

She named one painting, "Blind Bullets."

"And you can see the little girl is looking in another direction because she has no idea what’s about to hit her and that’s what is happening in our community," said McComb. In fact, in just the past two weeks, two children, in separate incidents, have become the victims of gun violence in St. Paul.

"Blind Bullets" is among McComb's work on display.

One shooting victim, as young as 9-years-old. "Black and brown folks are disproportionately affected by the issue, whether it’s not having safety measures inside the home, not properly being taught. There are environmental circumstances, economic circumstances," said McComb.

Through art, McComb depicts how weapons can both victimize and empower. In one photo, a woman is taught how to use a gun.

"She asked him to teach her how to protect herself and how to use a weapon just to lose the fear of it. And she’ll tell you if you talk to her, that she’s not a gun owner, but she knows what to do if she needs to use a gun," said McComb.

McComb is a creative who uses art to inspire change. "Using art as a catalyst for social change would be absolutely the way of my life," said McComb.

The exhibit runs through June 1. It is free and open to the public.