(September 21, 2017) In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word. On September 21, 2017, the North Baltimore Middle School Art classes plan to take part in an International art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace at the high school athletic entrance.
Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two Art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. In the first year, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels on September 21st – there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. Last year (year 11), 2016, over 4.5 million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Locally, Arica Matthes, Middle School Art teacher will be coordinating the Pinwheels for Peace project this year.
This project is non-political – peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/intolerance or even bullying in our daily lives, to peace of mind. To each of us, peace can take on a different meaning, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: “a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.”
The art students have created pinwheels, pinwheels of all shapes and sizes – as part of the creation process, the students have written their thoughts about “war and peace / tolerance/ living in harmony with others” on one side. On the other side, they have drawn pictures or designs to visually express their feelings. The students have assembled these pinwheels and on International Day of Peace they will “plant” their pinwheels near the entrance to the gym at the Middle/High School as a public statement and art exhibit/installation.
On September 21st keep a lookout for the pinwheels – the spinning of the pinwheels in the wind will spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world!
For more information, go to http://www.pinwheelsforpeace.com.