Boston Storefront Art: “Fatalities”

With his latest work, artist Donald Shambroom provides inspiration to socially conscious artists everywhere. A talented realist painter who also works as a sculptor, Shambroom has exhibited works at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA and the Boston Center for the Arts. He recently negotiated with the landlord of two empty shops in Boston’s Watertown area, to allow the storefront windows to be temporarily used for an installation artwork about the war in Iraq. The shop windows face a street with plenty of foot traffic, with hundreds of pedestrians walking by on a daily basis.

Many stop to view Fatalities, Shambroom’s statement on the human cost of war. The artist created a half-dozen sculptural works that were assembled from found objects made of metal, cement, and wood. Each sculpture represents a US soldier killed in Iraq, with the sculptures stained with red paint and tagged with the name of a soldier who has actually fallen in Iraq. Shambroom noted, “The tragedy is that these were all young people, their deaths were as random as my act of taking their names off of a list, an action which was very sad and disturbing in its own right.”

Alongside the installation sits a small poster inviting spectators to donate money to the Salvation Army’s, Military Assistance Program, which assists the families of fallen servicemen and women. Out of the hundreds who have seen the storefront installation so far, there have been no complaints. “I think people are sad when they see it, not angry,” Shambroom said.

The storefront exhibit is on display until Feb. 27th, and is sponsored by the Watertown Citizens for Environmental Safety. The storefronts are located at 609 and 613 Mt. Auburn St. The exhibition will next travel to nearby Somerville, Massachusetts, where it will be on display in storefronts at McIntyre & Moore, a bookstore in Davis Square. That exhibit will run from March 15th to the 28th, coinciding with the March 19th 2nd anniversary of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.

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