Archive for September 2nd, 2021

Pax Omnis

2021 Imagine Artist Kites GC Myers sm

I was recently asked by our local arts organization, The Arts of the Southern Finger Lakes, to take part in a public art installation, ART Lifts Us Up!, as part of their IMAGINE! Public Art in the Plaza event which begins this evening and goes through the weekend, ending Sunday evening.

It is a festival taking place in and around the skating rink at the the Corning Civic Center Plaza and features public art installations, local artists, street performers/buskers, temporary art installations, as well as dynamic open-air theatre, music and dance performances. You can get more info including a schedule of events by clicking here.

As part of ART Lifts Us Up! I was asked to create a large kite. Though I knew the dimensions, I didn’t realize how large it was until I began to actually go to work on it. It was to be 88″ tall and 66″ wide and weigh no more than 10 pounds.

It was more of a challenge than I had anticipated. I have never built a kite and didn’t have a lot of time to experiment. I tied a couple of things but just didn’t like what I was seeing. I decided in the end on basically creating an actual painting on lighter canvas stretched over a kite-shaped lightweight wooden frame. 

The criteria for what I could paint was unlimited. By that, I was told to paint whatever I wanted so long as it expressed my feelings coming out of the pandemic– or, at least, at his point in the pandemic– and going into the future.

I had a lot of concepts but was short on time to create such a large piece on such a large concept.

I mean, how do you, as an artist, sum up the experiences that have taken place in this world in the past year?

Do you focus on the pandemic? The all too many lives lost and the redemptive power of the vaccines?

Or the racial inequality and police violence that led to the widespread protests of last year?

Or do you focus on the political sphere, where fearmongering, disinformation, and misinformation has replaced policy and research for many politicians, particularly those on the far right? Do you focus on those things that divide us? The growing threat of fascism throughout the world or the violence and chaos of the insurrection of January 6 in our own capital?

Or do you put all that aside and focus on our climate which is beginning to show the awful effects—the more severe wildfires, droughts, storms, flooding, etc. –that come with its changing nature?

Without question, the world has gone through a lot in the past year or so.  Everyone has been put under great amounts of stress, more than we have experienced in generations, from all corners.

And it has revealed both our better and worse angels. The good and the bad. The beautiful and the ugly.

It has been a severe test for us all.

Through it all, I found myself desiring little more than a bit of peace, both in the reality of the wider world and in the space of my own mind.

As I considered these things, a phrase came to mind—Pax Omnis.

Peace for All.

It was that thought, that phrase, that led me in the creation of my kite. The events of the past year have shown that we that we are all connected, that none of us is an island unto ourselves. The virus and the quickly changing climate have certainly proven that. We need cooperation and a united aspiration to something greater than our own small, individual concerns, if we are to survive as a species.

Because until there is peace of mind for all, there is truly no lasting peace of any kind for any of us.

Pax Omnis.

I hope you can make it at some point to the IMAGINE! event in Corning this week. It looks to be a great way to see examples of those things that bind us together.

Imagine that…

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: