“Faces Not Forgotten”: Boyle’s Family Gallery hosts an art exhibition against gun violence


Photo by Sofiya Melnychuk

“Faces Not Forgotten” Quilts Exhibition at the Boyle Family Gallery in J. Scheidegger’s Center for the Arts.

Sofiya Melnychuk, Culture Editor

‘Faces Not Forgotten’ Quilts Exhibition is a season opener for the Boyle Family Gallery in Lindenwood’s J. Scheidegger Center for The Arts.
‘Faces Not Forgotten’ Quilts free exhibition was available for visitations from Aug. 23 to Sept. 24. This art exhibition has a tragic and poignant story with the intention to send a message. ‘Faces Not Forgotten’ is a non-profit foundation that begun in Saint Louis over a decade ago. Over the years, it gained a national presence and recognition.
“The foundation has the dual purpose of comforting the families of young victims of gun violence while promoting awareness of the futility of such violence,” said John Troy, Senior Professor of Art and Design and the Director of the Boyle Family Gallery. “It comforts the families by commissioning portraits of the victims by professional artists who donate their services.”
Christine Ilweski, who is a professional artist, started this project herself after losing her friend to gun violence. Initially, Christine was the only artist of the project, yet more and more artists were recruited and participated in the project.
“Dozens of artists are represented in the exhibition,” Troy said. “I have painted two of the portraits myself.”
‘Faces Not Forgotten’ is a way to increase society’s awareness about such horrific loss and to give comfort to families who lost their loved ones to senseless gun violence. It makes a strong connection between social activism and artistic expression. For Lindenwood students, it shows many additional ways to utilize their creativity for the good of society.
“People who have a keen awareness of social issues will be drawn to the emphasis on the problems associated with gun violence,” Troy said. “Anyone interested in art and portraiture will be amazed by the beautiful paintings.”
Attending in-person requires following COVID-19 protocols to wear a mask. Lindenwood also provides an opportunity to enjoy art from distance, by attending virtually.
“We learned how to present each exhibition digitally,” Troy said. “We have already mapped the exhibition digitally and it will be available on the LU website soon.”
Troy believes the Boyle Family Gallery is a critical curricular support for the Art and Design program and the university at large.
“For 2021-22, we are producing nine exhibitions that will showcase the best of our students’ work, our prospective students’ work, and professional artists’ work that reinforce our curriculum,” Troy said.