Wall arts photo exhibit features mothers of gun violence victims

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Michele Parker will only walk on one side of the street. Penn Presbyterian Medical Center is on the other side. She said it was painful to be so close to this. At Saunders Park just outside, her photo is one of 51 in a collage of images from Kathy Shorr’s latest work.

The “SHOT: We the Mothers” exhibit is part of “SHOT: We The People,” a multimedia project showcasing survivors and victims of gun violence across the United States. Photographer Kathy Shorr and Mural Arts Philadelphia worked to identify mothers who have lost children to guns. violence within the city.

Michele Parker stands at the SHOT: We the Mothers photo memorial exhibit in Saunders Park. Behind her is Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where her son Evan Marquis Baylor was pronounced dead after being shot last June. (Sam Searles/WHY)

The photos are all at locations chosen by the mothers – a place their child loved, a cemetery or, in Michele Parker’s case, her son Evan Baylor’s school. Evan was prom king in his junior and senior years at the Mastery Charter School’s Shoemaker campus. Parker said her son’s unsolved murder was something she could never have foreseen:

“[What] I want each of you to know that your child doesn’t need to be involved in the streets to be a victim…it’s an ongoing thing that I tend to see in our media — that we are a number, [that] we are involved in something. Absolutely not. There are children who, sadly, are six feet under and whose dreams and aspirations are buried there. I said to myself, as long as God gives me breath in my body, that the dreams and aspirations of Evan Marquis Baylor will not be extinguished, will not become empty and will not be in vain.

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