About the Exhibition

The Fairfield University Art Museum, in partnership with #UNLOAD and the Guns In The Hands of Artists Foundation, is proud to announce the opening of the exhibition #UNLOAD: Guns in the Hands of Artists. Each piece in the exhibition was created using decommissioned guns, taken off the streets of New Orleans via a gun buyback program and distributed to internationally-known artists. Painters, sculptors, photographers, poets, and other artists used the decommissioned firearms to create works of art that address the complex issue of guns and gun violence. The exhibition originated in mid-1990s New Orleans, where a spiking murder rate led artist Brian Borrello to conceive of the first iteration of the Guns in the Hands of Artists exhibition by bringing the discussion over the role of guns and gun violence in our society into the realm of art -- art as the language for dialogue and possibly change without the often partisan and polarized politics that surround the issue. Borrello and gallery owner Jonathan Ferrara mounted this exhibition at Positive Space The Gallery in September 1996 in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans. In 2014, Ferrara revisited the exhibition featuring new work by internationally recognized artists. Through their own medium, each artist has used the decommissioned firearms to create works that express a thought, make a statement, open a discussion, and stimulate thinking about guns in our culture.

This exhibition is a part of #UNLOAD, an arts-based initiative in Connecticut that seeks to drive consensus around the divisive issue of gun violence. Visit the unloadusa.org website for more information about the many events taking place across the state in 2018 that will engage our communities in vibrant dialogue about this important issue. #UNLOAD and the Fairfield University Art Museum believe in the power of the arts to ignite change in society.

In collaboration with the Guns in the Hands of Artists Foundation, #UNLOAD, and the Quick Center for the Arts, the museum hopes to engage partners and collaborators in taking a hard look at the serious public health consequences of gun violence in America. Please check back here often as additional programming is in the works! We hope that the exhibition and the events presented in conjunction with it will offer unique opportunities to engage in the conversation about guns in our society, using art as the catalyst for dialogue.

#UNLOAD: Guns in the Hands of Artists


View program registration →

Opening Reception

Thursday, May 31, 6-8 p.m.
Walsh Gallery, Quick Center for the Arts


Panel Discussions

Thursday, May 31, 5 p.m.
Art Making for Social Change
Panel of exhibition artists, including exhibition organizer, gallerist and artist Jonathan Ferrara with Margaret Evangeline, Bradley McCallum, and Paul Villinski, moderated by Helen Klisser During, co-founder and Artistic Director of #UNLOAD
Quick Center for the Arts, Wien Experimental Theatre

Wednesday, September 12, 5 p.m.
Gun Violence in Connecticut: Realities and Paths Forward
Panelists to include: Brent Peterkin, Statewide coordinator, DOJ Project Longevity; Reverend Anthony Bennett, Co-Chair, Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut; and Jeremy Stein, Executive Director, Connecticut Against Gun Violence
Quick Center for the Arts, Wien Experimental Theatre

Thursday, September 20, 7:30 p.m.
Conversation: Gun Violence as Public Health Crisis
Congressman Jim Himes (Representative for Connecticut's 4th District), Dr. Patrick Kelley (Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Egan School of Nursing; founder, Forum on Global Violence Prevention at the National Academies of Science) and Dr. Bradley Stolbach (Associate Professor of Pediatrics, The University of Chicago and Clinical Director, Healing Hurt People - Chicago) will engage in a conversation moderated by Melissa Quan (Director, Center for Faith & Public Life, Fairfield University).
Barone Campus Center, Oak Room


Gallery Talks

Tuesday, September 25, 5 p.m.
Bradley McCallum
Quick Center for the Arts, Walsh Gallery


Closing Night Party – World Premiere

Friday, October 12, 7 p.m.
Movement Art Is (MAI)
A world premiere dance commissioned by the Quick Center for the Arts - a new work by Movement Art Is (MAI). MAI, featuring artists Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, is creating this work in response to the powerful artworks in the exhibition. ($75 tickets will be available in June through the Quick Center Box Office, and will include cocktails and a closing dance party)

Exhibition Partners

In the Press

CT Post, “Provocative ‘#UNLOAD: Guns in the Hands of Artists’ to open at Fairfield U. Art Museum” →

Art Net News, “Editors’ Picks: 12 Things Not to Miss in New York’s Art World This Week” →

New Haven Register, “#UNLOAD: Guns in the Hands of Artists’ opening at Fairfield University Art Museum” →

WSHU, "Shock and Art: #UNLOAD Exhibit Takes On America's Gun Violence" →

Venü Magazine, "#UNLOAD: Guns in the Hands of Artists: A new Exhibition Opens in the Walsh Gallery" (Issue 39, pgs. 16-17) →

Hartford Courant, "Artists #UNLOAD In Gun Exhibit At Fairfield University" →

CT Art Trail, "Opening Reception for #UNLOAD: Guns in the Hands of Artists" →

Fairfield Citizen, "Fighting fire with fire: Fairfield University exhibition uses decommissioned guns to explore gun violence" →

News12, "Gun debate exhibit opens at Fairfield University Art Museum" →

Additional Information

Walsh Gallery Hours:

Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon – 4 p.m. We are closed for national and university holidays and during inclement weather.
The museum is closed for the month of August. The Walsh Gallery will reopen on Wednesday, September 5.


The museum is open to the public and admission is free.


Private tours with a curator are available for a fee; please contact museum@fairfield.edu or 203-254-4046.


Walsh Gallery is located in the Quick Center for the Arts on the campus of Fairfield University. For GPS please use the following address: 200 Barlow Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824

Enter through the stone gates of the University, then turn right onto McInnes Road. The Quick Center is to your left, and parking is to your right..

Reach Us By Car:

CT Turnpike (I-95) from New York:

Exit 22, left on Round Hill Rd. Follow to second stop sign, turn right on Barlow Rd. Follow 1/2 block to University entrance on left through stone gates. Follow directions above.

CT Turnpike (I-95) from New Haven:

Exit 22, right on North Benson Rd. Follow to first stop light, turn left on Barlow Rd. Follow 1/2 block to University entrance on right through stone gates. Follow directions above.

Merritt Parkway (Rt. 15) from New York:

Exit 44, left at end of ramp, right on Black Rock Tpke. Follow 2 mi., turn right on Stillson Rd (Rt. 135 South). At second light, bear left onto North Benson Rd. At second light, turn right on Barlow Rd. Follow 1/2 block to University entrance on right through stone gates. Follow directions above.

Merritt Parkway (Rt. 15) from New Haven:

Exit 44, at end of ramp make a left. At first light make left onto Black Rock Turnpike. Follow directions above.


Free parking available at the lot in front of the Quick Center, including handicap parking.

Reach Us By train:

Take Metro-North, New Haven Line, to Fairfield Station (approximately 70 minutes from Grand Central Station).

For further information or to schedule a visit or tour, please contact

Fairfield University Art Museum
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 254-4046

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