Turning Bullets into Bells: An Artistic Response to School Shootings

Experience the transformative power of art as bullets are melted down and transformed into bells in the captivating installation, 'When do you feel safe?' This thought-provoking response to the escalating crisis of school shootings brings together art, advocacy, and emotional healing. Join us at Lynchburg University for the bullet melting ceremony and immerse yourself in the accompanying art exhibit that explores the complex impact of gun violence.

Bullet Melting Ceremony: Transforming Destruction into Art

Witness the symbolic transformation of bullets into beautiful bells during the moving bullet melting ceremony.

At the heart of the 'When do you feel safe?' installation lies the powerful bullet melting ceremony. This ceremony serves as an artistic response to the escalating crisis of school shootings in our society. As the artist, Mercedes, expertly melts down bullet casings in a small furnace, spectators can't help but feel a sense of anticipation and reflection. 

To be present during this transformation from destruction to art is an emotional and thought-provoking experience. As the liquid metal is poured into molds, taking the shape of bells, a preservation of hope and healing emerges. This symbolic act represents the collective desire for change and the agency we all possess to create a safer world.

Artist Reception and 'Run, Hide, Fight' Exhibit

Explore the thought-provoking 'Run, Hide, Fight' art exhibit accompanying the powerful 'When do you feel safe?' installation.

Following the bullet melting ceremony, attendees are invited to join the artist's reception at the Daura Museum of Art. Here, the 'Run, Hide, Fight' exhibit unveils a multidimensional exploration of gun violence and its impact on individuals and communities.

The exhibit not only showcases bells created from melted bullets, but also includes compelling videos, immersive sounds, and a response box for students to express their emotions and thoughts. This interactive space aims to empower individuals to find their voices and be part of the solution in the crisis of school shootings that persists across the country. 

Creating a Platform for Healing and Reflection

The 'Run, Hide, Fight' exhibit creates a platform for dialogue, allowing visitors to reflect on the complex emotions surrounding gun violence. By posing the question 'When do you feel safe?' throughout the exhibit, students and attendees are encouraged to consider their own safety, discuss prevention, and explore the concept of learning and healing as a community.

Empowering Students for Change

Give students a voice and help them feel empowered in the fight against school shootings.

The goal of the 'When do you feel safe?' installation extends beyond the material transformation of bullets to bells. It aims to empower students, providing them with a constructive platform to express their emotions, thoughts, and ambitions regarding gun violence. 

With the understanding that students are directly impacted by the crisis of school shootings, the installation, reception, and exhibit foster a safe space for healing, activism, and reflection. By prompting individuals to consider societal change, education, and advocacy, the 'When do you feel safe?' project invites students to actively contribute to the solution.


The 'When do you feel safe?' installation at Lynchburg University brings attention to the urgent issue of school shootings in the United States. By transforming bullets into bells, the artist, Mercedes, invites us to reflect on our own sense of safety and the collective responsibility we hold in creating a safer world.

The bullet melting ceremony and the 'Run, Hide, Fight' exhibit provide powerful and immersive experiences that engage visitors on an emotional and intellectual level. Through these artistic installations, students and attendees are empowered to be part of the dialogue and learn about prevention, advocacy, and healing surrounding gun violence. 

By fostering meaningful conversations, encouraging student activism, and transforming tools of destruction into works of art, the 'When do you feel safe?' project aims for a brighter future where safety, compassion, and understanding take precedence.


How long will the bullet melting ceremony take place?

The bullet melting ceremony will take place on Friday, Oct. 20 at 3 p.m. on the loading dock outside of Dillard Fine Arts Center at Lynchburg University.

Is there an admission fee to attend the exhibition?

No, admission to the bullet melting ceremony, artist's reception, and the 'Run, Hide, Fight' exhibition is free and open to the public.

Can students contribute their own artwork to the exhibition?

While the exhibition primarily features the work of artist Mercedes, students are encouraged to contribute their own responses and expressions regarding gun violence through the response box available at the 'Run, Hide, Fight' exhibit.

How can I get more information about the installation?

For more information about the 'When do you feel safe?' installation, please send an email to [email protected]

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