‘Ten Thousand Ripples’ promoting peace through art
In an effort to promote peace, the public art exhibit “Ten Thousand Ripples” (TTR), was created by award-winning artist Indira Freitas Johnson. Over 100 fiberglass and resin Buddha sculptures, designed by Johnson, have been installed in ten Chicago neighborhoods, including Pilsen and Little Village. ElevArte community studio, the host organization for this initiative, will provide free arts programming around this public art exhibit to create dialogue on peace within the community.
The project culminates with a July 2013 exhibit at the Loyola University Museum of Art. “ElevArte’s participation in the Ten Thousand Ripples (TTR) project comes at a very crucial time due to the crimes of violence our nation is experiencing. We are always looking for ways to engage residents in addressing social justice issues by providing meaningful and transformative experiences in the arts. This cross-city and interfaith project presents these ground-rising Buddha head sculptures that are publicly displayed in unexpected public places to incite curiosity and conversation on the subject of self-actualization and peace in our neighborhoods,” says Executive Director Giselle Mercier.
Two of the sculptures have been installed at Hedges Fine & Performing Arts School in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, providing art teacher Jequeline Salinas with a new outlet for communication. “The art program at our beloved school is currently benefiting from this tangible opportunity. We are integrating the concept of peace, while teaching students strategies on how artists can communicate a message through a concept. The students will probe into actions and thoughts that can promote peace and also actions and thoughts that hinder peace. They will then create their own sculptures that reflect on their personal message and concept,” explains Salinas. Principal Adelfio Garcia agrees and says, “This exhibit is an icon of peace to the community at large, especially for those who strive for a safe and serene environment in this neighborhood.”
“A powerful and profound need exists within each of us to know that peace is possible in spite of the violence that surrounds us. “Ten Thousand Ripples” is a reminder of that need. It invokes the image of an emerging Buddha as a widely held symbol of peace, inviting people to think about how they can find peace in their own lives and in their own communities,” says Artist Indira Johnson.
Through TTR, Johnson’s peaceful Buddha “emerging” out of the ground materializes in urban neighborhoods to create conversations on peace, art and social issues. Each of these neighborhoods will receive ten Buddha sculptures and will be able to keep five of them permanently.
For information on where the Buddha’s are located or upcoming events around this public art installation, visit ElevarteStudio.org. For more information about the TTR project and artist Indira Johnson, visit TenThousandRipples.com. n
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