When Pamela Hovland, a Wilton graphic designer, was approached in 2011 to contribute a project to We the Designers, a group exhibition that opened in New York City on March 4, she decided to create a visual that would prompt someone viewing it to think about the violent images and words that impact people daily, sometimes without their full awareness. Although the issue of violence in this country is pervasive, she did not foresee the intense daily conversations and debates on gun violence and gun control now in the headlines.
Ms. Hovland’s contribution to the exhibition is a “wallpaper” called Black + White + Red All Over. The underlying foundation of the 12-foot-six-inch by eight-foot work consists of a grid of 18 separate “shooting targets” that may be purchased at any gun store in Connecticut or through online vendors. Each of the separate targets is two feet wide by three feet tall. The targets on the outer edge of the work are nondescript forms used by gun enthusiasts, hunters, and the military for shooting practice, but as the eye moves gradually inward toward the center of the piece, the targets become recognizable and specific: images of people that are a reminder of the Aurora and Virginia Tech shootings, Osama Bin Laden, and a literal target of the United States. Ms. Hovland has layered smaller targets on top of the base shooting targets. These range from the classic black concentric circles with the red bull’s eye to painted depictions of animals.