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Third anniversary of Borderline Bar And Grill attack which claimed 12 lives commemorated with art installation

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KCLU News Photo
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An art installation by Ali Alinejad which is on the front lawn of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza features the names of the 12 victims of the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, along with stories about their lives.

Work on lawn of Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza features stories behind victims lives

Ali Alinejad is assembling an art installation on the front lawn of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. There are 12 poles on the lawn. Each one has colorful ceramic letters which spell out someone’s first name.

Passerbys might not click on it at first, but the names are those of the 12 people who died in the November, 2018 Borderline Bar and Grill attack in Thousand Oaks.

The blocks on the very first pole spell the name Kristina.

"We lost our daughter Kristina at the Borderline shooting. It could be triggering if I wanted to think about it that way," said Michael Morisette, Kristina’s father.

"But I feel like to me I can chose to look at it, and be happy about it. I could choose to let in break my heart over and over again, but my heart is already broken."

He says the 12 foot high sculpture is about emotions, but positive emotions.

The Thousand Oaks artist says like many people, he visited the impromptu memorial with flowers, and photos at the scene of the nightclub attack.

He had created some giant ceramic letters for another project, and took them to the Borderline memorial, and set the up to spell out "Love" and "Peace."

Alinejad says it was an emotional experience, which left him wanting to do more to help the community heal

"I felt like it was not enough," said Alinejad. "I started doing these names."

Alinejad and his wife Ester are ceramics artists. They own Clay Studio and Gallery in Thousand Oaks, which offers ceramics classes. The 8 to 12 foot high sculptures have special backs. Each large ceramic letter includes information about the Borderline victim’s life which was supplied by the family.

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KCLU News Photo
The back of the ceramic letters include information, and stories about the victims, as part of an effort to help visitors learn their stories.

Michael Morisette, who lost his daughter Kristina in the 2018 attack, is actually helping the artist put up the installation.

"I come from the families. It's about keeping the names out there," said Morisette.

The art installation honoring the 12 Borderline victims will be up on the front lawn of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza through the end of the month. The artist has created a non-profit organization, called Art Through Action, and is hoping to find a permanent home for the work in the community.