What 164 murders look like: Artist uses mixed mediums to highlight New Orleans gun violence

NEW ORLEANS -- "Should art have a message? I mean, yeah.  Fine art should have a message."

New Orleans is a city full of creative and talented people, but it's also plagued by gun violence.

One local artist has been bringing awareness to the problem for the past three years, even bringing his guerilla art pop-ups to the steps of City Hall.

"The message of this show in my work is that we need some form of sane approach to stemming gun violence in this country," Mitchell Gaudet explained.

Gaudet, who owns Studio Inferno in Arabi, makes mixed medium pieces, with a particular number of objects cast in glass. Each bullet cast in glass signifies a murder in New Orleans. He's demonstrated the murder problem with his art in front of City Hall every year since 2015.

"I did the piece (in 2015) and at the last moment, I said, 'I'm going to bring it in front of city hall to do a guerilla art thing so people can see what 164 murders look like,'" he said.

Now, he uses his free art gallery in St. Bernard Parish to exhibit his work. He's also working on his big unfinished project of 2018.

"I decided to use this reaping idea with a scythe blade and glass leaves and stuff, about how people are cut down in their youth ... that's mostly because the murder victims in this city are between 18 and 30," Gaudet said.  "I own a gun.  I believe in the Second Amendment.  I do think there's a problem.  I'm not saying it's the police or the community or parenting.  I'm saying this is how many people were killed this year in Orleans Parish, and its an impetus of a discussion."

You can see Gaudet's shooting gallery exhibit for yourself on Saturday (June 2). Click here for more information.