By Benjamin Flowers: Belizean artist and art teacher Raquel Rodriguez, and her students from Raquel Art in Belmopan, are using their craft to take a stand against gun violence in Belize, through a street art exhibit in Belize city.
Rodriguez gathered the bulk of her students’ paintings from their December 2021 exhibit “No More Silence. End Gun Violence” and brought them to be displayed at the foot of the Swing Bridge on Albert Street where fellow artist Alex Sanker usually has his paintings displayed.
The exhibit on display today features the artwork from around 15 students between the ages of 4 and 19 years old and depicts messages either condemning gun violence or calling for peace.
Rodriguez said that the exhibit was put together last year, in response to a number of youths being killed by gun violence, and was brought to Belize City today following the shooting death of 18-year-old Joshua Pou, which happened on Wednesday morning.
“This is our silent, artist protest against the gun violence plaguing our communities in Belize,” Rodriguez said.
She noted that the pieces prominently displayed the color orange, which is the globally recognized color for anti-gun violence. Rodriguez said that her hope is the exhibit will inspire other students, teachers, artists, and the general public to use their mediums as a means of condemning violence and promoting peace.