CITY OF HARTFORD CHOSEN TO KICK OFF NATIONAL ‘RAISE THE CALIBER’ CAMPAIGN TO END ILLEGAL GUN VIOLENCE
Campaign Launches With Unveiling of 60 Foot High Sculpture by Artist Michael Kalish
— NEWS AND COMMUNITY STATEMENT—
(May 7, 2014) The City of Hartford has been selected as the kick off site for “Raise The Caliber” a national advocacy campaign to end illegal gun violence. Central to the campaign will be the unveiling of a public art piece by internationally renowned artist Michael Kalish. The work, a 60-foot high sculpture created from 2,000lbs of shredded illegal guns bought off the streets through voluntary gun buybacks, will be unveiled in Hartford in July and stay for nine months.
“In cities across the country, gun violence is impacting too many families, and cutting too many lives short. We’re doing everything possible to combat that in Hartford and we welcome anyone willing to stand alongside us to help raise awareness of this issue that affects everyone in our community,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
“This monument is truly the most powerful piece I have ever created and I am really honored to hear about Hartford’s enthusiasm for it,” said artist Michael Kalish.
Raise The Caliber was founded by CEO of Jewelry for a Cause NYC, Jessica
Raise The Caliber by Michael Kalish signed limited edition machete
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To learn more about Michael Kalish :
“I had the inexplicable thrill of welding a shred of an illegal gun onto the tribute monument being created by the incredible Michael Kalish. Once the piece had cooled, I wrote on it, with a silver sharpie, “Destroyed. Never to Destroy Again” …I was overwhelmed with emotion when I saw what was being created and realized the impact this large scale public art installation will have on so many people who have suffered so much loss.” – Jessica Mindich
Below is a picture of the internationally renown artist, Michael Kalish, kneeling on top of approximately 2000 lbs of shredded illegal guns I proudly bought off the streets by funding voluntary Gun Buyback and Amnesty Programs with proceeds from one of my retail jewelry lines called, The Caliber Collection™. This picture was taken the day the gun shreds arrived at his studio in L.A. and he emptied the barrels of pieces onto his floor. His reaction is haunting. He was so innocent before this moment. I remember when I felt like that.
Michael is using them to fabricate Raise The Caliber™, a 30′ high Monument that will be unveiled this summer, for the first time in Hartford, CT. The Sculpture is powerful, strong, hopeful and inspiring. It is dedicated to the victims of illegal gun violence in America. It is our hope that the learning and healing that can be achieved using this monument as a catalyst will be incorporated into conversations among family members in homes, within communities and in the school curriculum in various ways.
The pieces that make up Raise The Caliber™ by Michael Kalish are pieces of illegal guns, Destroyed. Never To Destroy Again.
Advisor of Raise The Caliber™
Charlie Grady hails from an esteemed law enforcement background*. He is a highly decorated retired Police Detective and FBI Task Force Agent. Grady’s 27 year career in law enforcement focused on violent crime, homicide, drugs, guns, and gang investigations on a Nationwide scope. Grady was the first Senior Investigator appointed by The United States Attorney of the District of CT, specializing in gun violence and illegal trafficking of firearms and narcotics. Continue reading
Tibi, Founder and Designer
Partner, Raise The Caliber™
Tibi designer and founder, Amy Smilovic, began her career in the fashion industry shortly after moving to Hong Kong in 1997. Following a successful marketing position at American Express in New York City, Amy relocated to Asia with her husband and began designing a small collection of contemporary dresses. Continue reading
Joesph Jeup, Inc.
Partner, Raise The Caliber™
For more than 20 years, accomplished furniture designer Joseph Jeup has expressed his passion for innovative high-end residential and hospitality design. Joseph’s zeal for both form and function transforms in to luxury furniture that can be experienced at a highly emotional level in everyday life.