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Kin Killin' Kin art exhibit depicts 'epidemic' of black-on-black youth violence

7:52 PM, Jan 29, 2014   |    comments
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Video: Artist tackles black-on-black youth violence epidemic in exhibition

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Sarasota, Florida -- The images are powerful. Twelve charcoal drawings each depicting black-on-black violence with their weapon of choice -- a gun.

These real life images too often repeated are now being illustrated by artist James Pate.

"It's my own private protest," says Pate.

A protest that's become a traveling art exhibit in the series Kin Killin' Kin. Pate compares what young African-American men are doing to each other today to the Ku Klux Klan.

PHOTOS: Kin Killin' Kin art exhibit

"If anyone should not be committing any "Kin Killin' Kin" types of crimes, it whould be African Americans," says Pate.

In each drawing Pate interjects history. In "Youth History Two", Pate shows a sit-in at a restaurant from the civil rights days with the men turned and looking at what's happening today.

"I'm sort of asking the question in that piece what happened between then and now that's caused this situation when that kind of sacrifice was made."

Pate started this series back in 2000. Today, his art is his weapon for change.

"And I'm screaming and shouting and wanting to create this dialogue and want to try to help create some solutions."

His thought-provoking art work has Jackie Pearson, her daughter and her mother talking.

"You're killing your kin. You're killing yourself. You're killing the future, you're killing the past, you're killing everything," Pearson says.

Pate includes one oil painting in his exhibition that shows there's hope for change with a young man who's turned his back on what keeps him down.

"I'll just continue to produce the pieces as long as the epidemic continues," he says.

The exhibit is on display at the North Sarasota Library at 2815 Newtown Blvd. through Feb 22. The exhibit in Sarasota is sponsored by the Sarasota Arts Alliance.

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