Ygnacio Valley art project gets to the soul of gun violence

Ygnacio Valley art project gets to the soul of gun violence

Ygnacio Valley art project gets to the soul of gun violence
Artist Leslie Lee’s Soul Box Project has become part of a nationwide movement, including this exhibit at the Ygnacio Valley Library through February.

WALNUT CREEK – With Americans still coping with the shooting at the Kansas City parade, the Soul Box Project at the Ygnacio Valley Library highlights the gun violence epidemic – while calling for compassion and action.

The exhibit is part of a nationwide community art project to raise awareness about the scale of gunfire in the United States.

“The project has displayed thousands of Soul Boxes in public spaces across the nation to illustrate the numbers of victims of gun violence, defense, accidents and suicides,” says Lisa Dell’Anno, a volunteer for the Diablo Valley branch.

She cites mind-numbing. Gunfire killed more than 44,000 people in the United States in 2022. In an average year, 3,253 people die and 7,293 are wounded by guns in California.

The Ygnacio Valley Library installation features nearly 600 origami Soul Boxes, hand-folded and personalized.

Each Soul Box features the name of a gunfire victim or a message of protest or hope.

“This represents only five days of firearm deaths in America – 120 victims every day,” Dell’Anno notes. “Each 3- by 3-inch Soul Box holds space for a gunfire victim with a name, an image, or a message of protest or hope.”

Artist Leslie Lee of Portland, Ore., created the Soul Box Project after the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017. The first exhibit displayed 200,000 Soul Boxes on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in 2021

The Soul Box Project is open during regular library hours through February at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek. Visitors can also fold a Soul Box and add it to the exhibit. For more information, visit soulboxproject.org.