.223 Caliber Recoil

.223 Caliber Recoil


  • August 2, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • CSPS Hall
  • Free

Decorah artist David Kamm's .223 Caliber Recoil is a powerful series of drawings and objects created in response to Sandy Hook, other school shootings, and the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in America. Says the artist, “In December 2012, Adam Lanza shot to death 20 children, six and seven years of age, along with six adult staff members, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. As horrible as it was, the Sandy Hook massacre was not an aberration, but rather one in an endless series of mass killings and school shootings that have come to characterize life in the United States. I am not anti-gun. For many years I hunted the fields and hills of Northeast Iowa, and as a young boy I was named outstanding rifle student in a hunting class sponsored by the NRA. However, I am very much against gun violence. There is undoubtedly no single solution to the issue, and it will take many people, creating pressure and raising awareness, in many different ways, to change the gun culture of our country. The art in this exhibit originated in response to the Sandy Hook shootings. While the subject is somber, I strove to arrive at some sense of beauty through the creation of works that don’t literally depict violence, shootings, and other incidents of hate, but rather offer visual metaphors that may prompt consideration of the issues. The graphite drawings comprise tracings of .223 gun casings, the caliber of choice for many mass shootings, including the one at Sandy Hook. The assemblages attempt to bring disparate objects and materials into some sort of coherent, even pleasing harmony, giving me hope that it may be possible to peacefully coexist, and to start to heal the wounds of a badly shattered country.”

Recently retired from Luther College, David Kamm lives and works in Decorah, Iowa.