Louisville artist takes stand against gun violence
Waller Austin’s installation part of wife’s newfound activism following Cincinnati mass shooting
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville artist took a stand against gun violence with an art show Friday night in honor of his wife, a survivor of last month’s mass shooting in Cincinnati.
Whitney Austin was shot 12 times during the deadly mass shooting at Fifth Third Bank headquarters on Sept. 6. She survived and has vowed to make a difference, starting a non-profit to end gun violence. Her husband is now carrying out part of that mission at the Tim Faulkner Gallery.
Waller Austin had the show scheduled in September, but held off until Friday night. What you’ll see is a much different art installation and exhibition with a whole new purpose.
“He really hasn’t been sleeping," Whitney Austin said Friday night. "He’s been putting all of his energy into this.”
Whitney said this has been therapy for her husband Waller ever since her near-death experience.
“After this happened, I just got in my studio and started making,” Waller said. “This is the result. I set up this space to be somewhat of a confusing situation for people to figure out for themselves what it means.”
The remnants of what the show was supposed to be are boxed up and laying on the floor. Empty hooks are on the walls where the pieces should have hung. The piece, titled “Negligence," is Waller’s way of reaching out and trying to get people to think.
“The show is just another piece of the puzzle to get people to think, to get people to feel uncomfortable about gun violence and then to think what they can do to make a difference,” Whitney said.
The Austins formed the nonprofit Whitney Strong in hopes to reduce gun violence by promoting, advocating and supporting responsible gun ownership.
“I hope that people see this and they realize that there’s problems and they think about the most rational way to move forward and they consider helping the foundation, or they consider just helping, period," Waller said. "Whatever they can do.”
The show will last until Nov. 1. Waller Austin said it’s an active installation and he’ll continue to add to it.
Proceeds from some of the pieces will go to the foundation, and donations can be made here.
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