Friends Select Students Participate in PAFA Exhibit

Upper school students participated in Philadelphia-based artist Melissa Joseph’s Expunge exhibit at PAFA. In this participatory project, Joseph invited students to hand wash some of the 320 white t-shirts she previously screen printed with bullet holes. The number represents the average amount of shooting homicides in Philadelphia per year over the last several years, and each shirt symbolizes a victim lost to gun violence.

On her website, Joseph describes her motivation behind Expunge: “It is my hope that through this communal public act, opportunities will arise to meditate on the lives of these victims, to share in meaningful conversations, and exchanges with one another, and to keep attention focused on the conversation around gun legislation.”

Quilana Its'at Castro-Cardona ’21 participated during her ninth grade Art Foundations class with Deborah Caiola. She shares, “The Expunge exhibit was a great way to show just how normalised gun violence is in our society. In one part of the exhibit we washed printed bullet holes out of shirts; it was a tedious task but so is the fight for gun control. I feel like the artist had a really good understanding of what gun violence does to us. We’ve all grown up with it and at this point searching for a solution is almost just as frustrating as hand washing a shirt for 20 minutes.”