By Madeleine Ahlborn |

A thought-provoking exhibition spans the Cloyde Snook Gallery and the Hatfield Gallery on campus at Adams State University. 

American Roulette is a traveling exhibition that has been on view in New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, and now on display here in Alamosa. American Roulette acts as a catalyst for conversation around guns in American culture.

This exhibition does not lean to one side or another on the political gun control discussion; rather, it is a melding of sides which sparks thought and questions perceptions around gun violence.

Not all art is commentary on social issues, yet, as ASU professor Anthony Guntren says,  “I think it is important for artists to engage in social commentary and issues directly related to the time. Furthermore, it seems to me that this topic remains relative and active on almost a daily basis.” 

Art is a visual representation of – or a re-presentation of – ideas from a certain point of view. What happens when an idea such as gun culture comes into play and there are so many different ideologies that become targets toward differences of opinion?

american roulette American Roulette

On exhibit through Friday, Nov. 4

Cloyde Snook Gallery

Adams State University

8:30am- 5pm

Lecture & discussion:
4-5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4

Closing Reception:
5-7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4


Gun culture and gun violence will always be relevant in one form or another. As a nation we are so far in, that it is unrealistic to attempt to get out. Conflict, judgment, disagreements, agreements to disagree, confrontation, and questioning surround the works within the gallery. The work itself creates visual dialogue even when no viewer is present. Between video installations, sculpture, paintings and written text, American Roulette aims to challenge viewers to step into a space of conversation that cannot be separate from politics. It leans into the big picture of how Americans, no matter what side they land on, choose to talk or not talk about guns and gun related violence in our society. 

“​​The American Roulette exhibit presents provocative artwork influenced by gun culture and violence. The mission of this exhibit is to evoke a needed platform for productive dialog across cultural and societal divides in order to listen and learn from each other.”
– American Roulette website

Artists within the traveling exhibition: 

Cesar Conde 

Yousif Del Valle

Michelle Graves

Anthony Guntren

CJ Hungerman

Dominic Sansone

Folleh Tamba

There is an extension of American Roulette that bleeds into the Hatfield Gallery. These works are created by San Luis Valley residents who had the opportunity to participate in the themed conversation and present works of art to represent local voices within this very dynamic exhibition. Graves, Sansone, and Guntren will all be present at the lecture and discussion, which begins at 4 p.m on Friday, Nov. 4. Artists will share their own reasons for participating in the exhibition and guide discussions around how these works play into the bigger picture. 

American Roulette will next travel to Fort Collins with the same works in the Snook Gallery. An added contemporary film presented by CSU Communications Department will act as a local voice there. The gun culture and violence issues will not be solved around these works of art, but the body of work and the conceptual nature will broaden the scope of how we ingest media, converse with one another, and most importantly listen, make observations and take more steps to engage in a never ending dialogue.


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