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Peacemakers Exhibit Here Oct. 29-Nov. 2

Peacemakers Exhibit Here Oct. 29-Nov. 2(Posted: October 4, 2012)

The Honors International Studies Program at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith is hosting an Oct. 29-Nov. 2 showing of the traveling "Artists as Peacemakers" exhibit.

A reception from 5-6 p.m. Oct. 29 will kick off the exhibit, which is coming to Fort Smith after a showing at the State Capitol in Little Rock. The UAFS honors program is sponsoring the reception. The free-standing exhibit is located in the first floor west hallway of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. Hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday.

Twenty-four panels of photographs and information show individuals from around the world as they make efforts toward peace. Featured are well-known vocalists and musicians, composers, pop stars, writers, photographers, sculptors and actors.

Dr. Dennis Siler of Van Buren, director of the UAFS honors program, said he believed the exhibit should provide food for thought and discussion among honors students and across the campus and community.

"When I first saw images from the exhibit, I was impressed by the variety of artists, actors, musicians, dancers and writers featured on the panels," said Siler. "Those represented personalities from Shakira to Nicole Kidman, from Bono to Angelina Jolie and from Yo Yo Ma to John Lennon. Best of all, these artists all have used their respective art forms to promote volunteerism and other humanitarian causes in the name of peace."

Although he had never heard of the organization responsible for the exhibit, Siler said he was impressed by the overall altruistic ethic expressed by the panels of the display.

"All the artists promote positive interaction through art, across all boundaries," he said. "In the words of Carlos Santana, also one of the featured artists, 'Let us accentuate beauty, grace, elegance, excellence and dignity in everything we do and are.'"

Siler said the presentation of art as a unifying force worldwide seems to have intrinsic worth to most people.

"And this exhibit features colorful and often surprising examples of art and artists promoting higher ideals globally," he said.

Stacey Jones of Fort Smith, associate vice chancellor for campus and community events, said he is pleased to make the exhibit available in the Campus Center.

"This is a very thought-provoking exhibit," Jones said. "It will only be available to our community for five days, and we hope everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to see something that has sparked a great deal of interest across the nation."

The exhibit was part of a United Nations commemoration of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, held during 2001-2010.

Exhibit sponsor is the International Committee of Artists for Peace (ICAP) a coalition of artists and organizations dedicated to promoting global peace and individual happiness. ICAP was founded by Daisaku Ikeda, president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI).

SGI is a lay Buddhist movement linking more than 12 million people around the world and is an active participant in the United Nations as a recognized non-governmental organization. SGI works with other groups to develop youth programs, traveling exhibits, cultural events and symposia.

For more information, contact Siler by telephone at 479-788-7537 or by email at dennis.siler@uafs.edu.



Article by: Sondra LaMar, Director of Public Relations
Photo(s) by: Lucy Estephanos

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