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Nonprofit Issues Call for Entry to Artists to Transform Guns Into Art

VALLEJO, Calif. - June 14, 2017 --- The Robby Poblete Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Solano County, is calling on artists from throughout the Bay Area to submit proposals for an inaugural project that will bring attention to gun violence.

The foundation, formed this year in the wake of the shooting death of 23-year-old Robby Poblete in Vallejo in 2014, aims to transform tragedy into art, hope and opportunity. Two of RPF's three main missions:

● Establish an annual gun buyback. The first one is scheduled for Aug. 26, 2017, at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo;

● Commission artists to transform the metal collected from the guns into art in a program called Art of Peace;

● Raise awareness among high school students about opportunities in skilled trades, and provide support through apprenticeship, certification and job placement. RPF is working with local labor unions and area schools to establish a vocational-training program in an effort to provide opportunity and help reduce crime.

The art, which will range from sculptures, mixed media and wall art, to jewelry, will be used in a traveling exhibit to raise awareness about gun violence. Some of the art may be placed as monuments in public places or sold for fundraising at an art exhibit and auction.

"The foundation's mission is not merely to get unwanted guns out of circulation, but to give them new life -- to have them represent beauty and the human spirit, rather than violence and fear," said Pati Poblete, Robby's mother and founder of the Robby Poblete Foundation.

The Solano County Arts Council is one of the many organizations on board with RPF's mission.

"Life is about choices and, even if we don't always recognize it, even not choosing, not deciding, not-acting are choices," said Jerry and Carmen Slack of the Solano County Arts Council. "All of us involved in this life-affirming, positive endeavor have chosen to take action, to do something to help turn the tide of violence that has so negatively impacted our lives, personally, and our society as a whole."

The foundation is calling for wall artwork that does not exceed 12 square feet and sculptures that do not exceed 3 square feet. Weight may not exceed 75 pounds in any category. Artist stipends range from $400 to $1,500. Winners in each category will also receive prizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 at the first exhibition in January 2018, which will be held at the Artiszen Community Art Center in Vallejo, Calif.

Artists who are 18 years of age or older should submit applications to by Aug. 15, 2017.

RPF partners include the Vallejo Police Department and the Solano County Sheriff's Office, the Solano County Arts Council, Napa-Solano Central Labor Council, Flaming Lotus Girls , Artizen Cultural Center, Vallejo Arts Alliance (, Obtainium Works ( as well as elected officials and other community organizations.

For more information about the Art of Peace submissions and the foundation, visit, or email

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