Two 3' x 8' collages on display at the Civic Media Center
Art at the CMC: What does peace mean to you?
November/December 2007

What does peace mean to you? One child responded, "Nonviolence." Many adults and children were asked this question around Gainesville. People were eager to express their opinions. Questions led to more questions and discussions ensued. Is it possible for a world to sustain a natural balance by eliminating violence? Is the world unbalanced? Can there be peace without violence? To see the world through violent times and find a positive reaction to these episodes was a challenge. We designed an interactive art space to create a reaction to these actions of violence and domination.

The art space consisted of a corridor of large 3' x 8' banners leading to two large 3' x 8' collages. To create the hall, six banners were suspended opposite each other with three on each side. These banners were mirror imaged down the hall and each picture represented devastation, displacement, and demise. With the aid of images, we assembled two collages conAsisting of three parts. The lower section has not only a visual impact, but a historical one. The images represented are the manifestations of power, war and violence within societies during different eras. As your eyes move up the collage, the images progress into the middle section which deals with active efforts to create change through education, health care, and community interaction. Thus, leading to the zenith, a hopeful, brighter future of peace cranes under a glowing suns.

As a performance piece involving viewer interaction, we assembled the art installation at the Hippodrome State Theater for a benefit event for the Peace Alliance and North Central Florida Department of Peace. Volunteers had their hands painted with invisible black light paint and were then asked to place their painted hand print on to the collage. Hands were placed over the violent images as a symbol of protest. Each hand print represents thousands of people all over the world. People who believe in building peaceful societies. Societies coexisting. Keep in mind being the paint is invisible, nothing is detectable under incandescent lighting. The hands are invisible like so many of us who feel misrepresented by our medias and our governments. When the lights are turned down and the black lights are turned on, the violence fades and the hand prints glow representing the peaceful thinkers of the world saying, "We do exist." These collages are on display at the Civic Media Center at 1021 W. University Ave.. For black light effect, please view at night.

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