Danielle Jonas-Staveckas, Noyes Arts Garage program assistant, attaches a description to the painting titled “Joseph,” which is of Joseph R. Elliott. The oil and canvas was painted by Patricia O’Halloran and is part of the Souls Shot Portrait Project.

ATLANTIC CITY – A unique and emotionally charged art exhibit that seeks to address the urgent issue of gun violence will be on display starting June 30 at the Noyes Arts Garage of Atlantic City.

The Souls Shot Portrait Project serves as a platform for grieving families and artists to collaborate and create personal portraits that honor those lost to gun violence. Each portrait represents an individual whose life was tragically cut short, reminding visitors of the impact gun violence has on families, communities and society as a whole.

“To create these portraits, artists participating in this project were randomly paired with families and friends of victims. The artists meet with the families and friends and get to know who the person was in life through photographs, videos, mementos and the all-important stories,” said Laura Madeleine, the executive director and curator of the exhibit. “The artists then set out to illuminate the lives of these loved ones. The varied approaches and mediums used by the artists are a fitting testament to the unique qualities of each of the souls portrayed.”

The exhibit will be displayed from June 30 to Sept. 24 at the Arts Garage, 2200 Fairmount Ave., Atlantic City. A reception will take place at 1 p.m. July 8.

“The relevance of this exhibit is a commentary on where our society is today,” said Michael Cagno, the executive director of the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University. “This helps to humanize the issue, and it’s a good way to help have difficult conversations about gun control, gun violence and public safety.”

The project began in Philadelphia in 2016 and currently has three separate exhibitions — one traveling in Philadelphia, one in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey.

“On behalf of all those who participated in creating this exhibition, we hope you will be moved by the images and that you will get to know the depth of these unique human beings; our kindred souls,” Madeleine said.

Learn more about the project at soulsshotportraitproject.org.

Categories: Atlantic City

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.