Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tri-Cities Artists Respond To Pasco Shooting With Paint

Several artists in southcentral Washington state are responding to last month’s Pasco shooting.

A new show entitled “Unmasked” just opened at Washington State University Tri-Cities. Several works in the show explore the shooting of Antonio Zambrano Montes.

Chris Cannon, an art student at WSU Tri-Cities, grew up in Pasco, right near the corner where Zambrano-Montes was shot. He felt safe there. So, when protesters marched through his hometown on Valentine’s Day, Cannon knew it was history. He saw it as people taking a conversation that was happening online, and moving it out in public.

“I really admire these people to come out from behind their keyboard and came to the streets and you know actually hold a sign above their head and own their opinion,” Cannon said.

Cannon turned the photos into bright collages. He painted the backgrounds with yellow, red, blue, orange and green, inspired by the vibrant-hued Mexican businesses and homes near the shooting.

Another of the artists is Brian Holbrook. His acrylic painting of the moment Zambrano Montes was shot also features a timeline of police shootings from the past year of people with mental illness.

Holbrook said he was committed to a mental health facility in the Tri-Cities after he called a veteran’s suicide helpline in 2009.

“And so, I know what it feels like to call looking for help," he said. "And this could have been me, it could have been a lot of my friends. And it’s happening to a lot of Americans.”

“Unmasked” features poetry art and sculpture on the theme of sociopolitical issues. It will be on display at WSU Tri-Cities through the end of the month. An opening reception is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.