‘Souls Shot’ Takes Aim at Gun Violence

“Portrait of Justin Reyes by Christopher Hardgrove,” one of the works in the “Souls Shot” exhibition.

The number of people whose lives have been shattered by gun violence is staggering. Telling just some of their stories is the goal of “Souls Shot: Portraits of Victims of Gun Violence.” For this project, artists were paired with families or friends to create portraits illuminating those precious lives to encourage the viewer to focus on the individuals behind the statistics and understand the cost of gun violence.

The project, a joint venture of Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence and the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, will culminate in a free exhibition opening Nov. 3 in Widener Hall at the church, 8855 Germantown Ave. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., with a 7:30 p.m. program including speakers State Sen. Art Haywood; Bryan Miller, executive director of Heeding God’s Call; a participating artist; and a family member of a victim of gun violence. 

“Souls Shot: Portraits of Victims of Gun Violence” will be on view throughout November during church office hours, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon- 4 p.m. Sunday. 

The exhibition will be part of the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill’s annual Festival of Music and Arts Nov. 3-5. This year the entire festival will bring awareness to gun violence, victims of gun violence and its impact on our community. A reading of a new play, “26 Pebbles," about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, in the church chapel. On Sunday, Nov. 5, a free choral concert featuring a world premiere piece titled “Unspoken Words,” written by Pulitzer-winning composer Lewis Spratlan, will be held in the church sanctuary, starting at 4 p.m. For more details on the Festival of Music and Arts, visit www.chestnuthillpres.org.

For questions about the “Souls Shot: Portraits of Victims of Gun Violence” exhibition, email pcchmusicandarts@gmail.com. Portrait of Justin Reyes by Christopher Hardgrove