Artists Unite to Expose Senators Taking NRA Money, Invite Public to “Buy a Senator.”
New York City –– On April 7, 2018, 6PM –9PM at BestWorld Gallery, there will be an exhibition and “Buy A Senator” silent auction of portraits of senators and House members who routinely value NRA contributions more than human life by voting against sensible gun legislation. The Senator Portrait Project began as a direct, grassroots response to mass shootings in the United States, prompted by the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando. New York-based artist Kim Sillen put out a call on social media, and artists across the country responded in a matter of hours. The project received coverage in the Daily News and CNN International.
The “Buy a Senator” auction of these portraits was catalyzed by the Valentine’s Day shooting at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Sillen says, “These portraits show how our representatives are complicit in the deaths of so many, especially the young. More than ever, we need to show the public who they really are, what they really stand for and hold them accountable.”
Sillen, who previously painted a LES mural memorial to a victim of gun violence, has curated the collection, which features 64 paintings, drawings and digital imagery by artists across the nation, including John Sims, Susan Conrad, Elizabeth Berdann, Seth Ruggles Hiler and Kate Kretz. “The NRA knows how easy it is to buy a senator,” says Sillen. “So we wanted to offer everyone the same opportunity.” She suggests the portraits would make great protest signs — or gifts for your NRA-supporting uncle. Also included in the silent auction is a leather jacket with anti-NRA messaging by street artist Hektad.
The silent auction will benefit the Parkland Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.