SACRAMENTO, Calif — When Mima Begovich thinks about guns, the first thing that comes to mind is blood. Bodies also come to mind, strewn across the street of her hometown in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"I think about destructed, destroyed buildings, and lives," Begovich told ABC10.
Begovich is the owner of ArtSpace 1616, a contemporary art gallery in old north Sacramento. She came to the United States in 2000 as a refugee of war.
"I left Bosnia in ‘92, and that was the best decision I made in my life, and my decision was made based on fear," Begovich said. "I’m really terrified of weapons. I don’t think that they should exist at all, but they do."
Despite this fear, Mima sees dozens of weapons daily in her gallery. They’re part of an art exhibit called “The Gun Show,” which explores the relationship between guns and society.
"People are very taken by the exhibit because gun violence is pervasive in our lives," Begovich said. "In the United States, you have weekly shootings. Just before we opened the show there was a shooting. Every week there is a shooting."
Mike Stevens, one of 35 artists displaying work in the show, and whose wife, Suzanne Adan, curated the exhibit, said the reasoning behind "Gun Show" stems from the topical nature of the subject and the never-ending barrage of mass shootings that seem to be reported weekly.
"I mean, it’s a highly political issue today that’s not going to go away," Stevens said. "It just isn’t going to go away."
Neither Mima or Mike make any qualms about the show being anti-gun, yet some pieces are more discrete about it than others. One depicts an AR-15 rifle sitting on a child's school desk.
"I find it is interesting to see what 35 different artists had to say about guns," Begovich said. "I didn’t know what the responses would be. So, it is somewhat comforting to realize that all those people are actually in agreement that guns are inflicting pain and damage and that they shouldn’t necessarily be used in the way they are today."
WHEN: Open until June 30
WHERE: artSpace 1616, 1616 Del Paso Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95815
INFO: Visit artSpace's website
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