Local artist finds voice in light of NFL protests

In light of the NFL protests a local artist is finding a voice. Instead of using words to express his opinions. He's using art. The project is called 'Take a Knee Pad'.

"There's strength in art and sometimes you can reach people through art in a way you couldn't just tell them," artist Russell Craig said.

Adding to the dialogue with images instead of words. More than 25 artists contributed to the Take a Knee Pad exhibit. The grand opening was Friday night at Arch Enemy gallery in Old City.

The art explores the impassioned reaction to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem.

"The thought was to take the pads from white and make them black to highlight black lives being lost to police brutality," Craig explained.

The art in many ways an ode to Philadelphia.From the homegrown artists behind the creations to the physical display. The pads are arranged in the starting formation of the now famous 'Philly Special' play call.

"That you don't leave walking away from a piece of political art feeling satisfied by the artistic value but rather to feel fulfilled and feel motivated to be political and active," artist Donte Neal.

The art has an obvious political bent and Arch Enemy Executive Director Patrick Shillenn says he is aware many patrons will hold opposing views.

"I think there is a lot more common ground than sometimes it feels like there is," he said. "Hopefully by being able to hear what our artists have to say, take a second listen to what these public figures have to say, maybe we can reach a place of understanding."