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The Stockyard Institute's
Gang-Proof Suit is an artistic endeavor produced by Jim Duignan in collaboration with a group of sixth-grade students from the Back of the Yards neighborhood. This series of sculptures served as a catalyst for the Stockyard Institute itself, its name inspired by the historical Union Stockyards where the group conducted their work.
In his early conversations with Back of the Yards students, Duignan learned of their daily interactions with gangs and their proximity to gang affiliation. Gun violence was prevalent in their lives, and the fear of succumbing to this type of violence permeated their consciousness. In naming this fear, one student's vulnerability and courage led to the conceptualization of
Gang-Proof Suit. The work was inspired by urban design, found objects, armor, and one another's perspectives.