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The Face of Please Don’t Shoot Me

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

close up please don't (2)

One of the very nicest parts of a Memorial Service is the opportunity to see family members, who often live very far away.  I had a lovely visit with my cousin Cathie from Cincinnati, Ohio during the family dinner and an opportunity to get acquainted with her talented and wonderful children.

Cathie shared her recent work with me via photographs and I was so moved by her weaving that I asked if I might share her pictures and story with you here.

In 2001, a young man – a boy really – was chased by police and fatally shot when he reached to his waist to pull up his jeans and keep running.   He was just a boy in the wrong place at the wrong time, and innocent of any violation or crime.   What followed was 4 days of rioting over this injustice in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio.

My cousin was driving home and found herself caught up in the mob scene and had to creatively find an exit from the anger and rage.  As she turned a corner to get clear she saw a boy standing on the corner holding a sign which said, “PLEASE DON’T SHOOT ME.”

The image of the boy on the corner was stuck into her mind.

In 2010, Cathie heard about a fiber art exhibit which depicted a human face or form and she knew right away that she would use the image frozen into her mind that fateful day.   She spent 8 months working and designing the piece and over 250 hours weaving.

Here is the picture of PLEASE DON’T SHOOT ME:
please don't shoot me (2)

In Cathie’s own words of description:

“The piece did get into the YWCA exhibit downtown, opening April 15th 2011. The criteria were a piece of fiber art which depicted a human face or form. The name of the piece is Please Don’t Shoot Me: Portrait of a Young Man, as Witnessed by the Artist, Cincinnati Riots 2001. Woven 2011, Tapestry, wool.“

I was so moved by her story and her work; it just needed to be shared with you.

Fiber Artist:  Catherine Beckman Cincinnati, Ohio


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Related Reading:
Spite or Malice or Cat and Mouse
The Element by Dr. Ken Robinson
The Love Ceiling
What Should I Do With the Rest of My Life

I so enjoy your comments and hope you enjoyed this fine tapestry.