Buddha Sculptures Promoting Peace Come To Pilsen, Little Village and Back of the Yards Neighborhoods
This February community residents in Pilsen will notice Buddha sculptures emerging in various locations throughout the neighborhood. These sculptures are part of Ten Thousand Ripples, a large public art exhibit, promoting peace by artist Indira Johnson. ElevArte Community Studio is the host organization for this art initiative in Pilsen, Little Village and Back of the Yards neighborhoods.
“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.
ElevArte Community Studio will be providing FREE arts programming around this public art exhibit to create dialogue on peace with the community. The project culminates with a July 2013 exhibit at the Loyola University Museum of Art. “The partnership we have with lead TTR agency, Changing Worlds, is also very important to our organization because it has allowed us to work with Mexican Artist Alfonso Piloto Nieves and 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis more in-depth. Alfonso will lead numerous workshops for our Pilsen community as a way to respond to the gun violence through the arts,” says Executive Director Giselle Mercier.
Why the Buddha? At the center of TTR are 100 fiberglass and resin Buddha sculptures designed by lead artist Indira Johnson that are being installed in 10 Chicago neighborhoods. 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 10 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 click here.
“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.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Award-winning artist and nonviolence and peace educator Indira Freitas Johnson has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She is represented in numerous private and public collections including the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Mobile Museum of Art, State of Illinois Building, Chicago and the High Museum of Art.
ABOUT TEN THOUSAND RIPPLES (TTR): Ten Thousand Ripples is a collaborative public art, civic engagement and peace project. It uses art as a catalyst to foster dialogue about peace and non-violence and create innovative solutions to address social issues. For in-depth information on the TTR project log on to TenThousandRipples.com.
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