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Art Archive - 2005

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Show Dates: 2005-11-01 - 2005-11-30
Title: Epidemic Peace Imagery Project
Artist: Russell Gardner
Details:
Welcome to the Epidemic Peace Imagery Project! "Epi" means over, and "demic" refers to people. We hope that peace spreads over people and have put forth this exhibit as an agent of that purpose.

The exhibit features poems and artworks mounted in a same-size format, 12 by 16 inches, or the approximate] footprint or overall size in the case of three-dimensional work.

The overall project originated at coffee by friends Claire Box, peace activist, and Robin Chapman, both of whose poems appear on the PoetsAgainsttheWar.Org website. They wished to see more than antiwar work, but in addition a visioning of a path for peace.

Images of peace should catch the imagination and spread as contagiously as fear or microbes! Chapman told this conversation to Russell Gardner, visual artist and backyard neighbor, and a collaboration sprang up. Gardner had seen a powerful Australian exhibit of nearly 300 same-sized works on the theme of reconciliation of immigrant and indigenous cultures, and had earlier proposed to the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors Society (WPS) that size restriction but great numbers unifies individual visions and makes communication more powerful. A call for work to the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and the WPS brought an initial 43 contributors. An organizing committee evolved and the project continued, now at Mother Fools in its 30th consecutive month. Sandy Lindow in Eau Claire made collaboration the theme in when it came to that regional art center, stimulating pairs of writers and visual artists to work together in producing a large Eau Claire contribution.

We hoped for more contributions as artists responded to the show and that has happened with the present number 274 and a number more promised. Participants so far stem from 41 Wisconsin locales, nineteen states/territories, and fifteen countries. In an EPI visitors’ book, a student at Northland College in Ashland pleaded that we exhibit elsewhere in the world to show a face different from present U.S. belligerence. We look forward to invitations from abroad!

EPI has stimulated reviews in Madison, Wisconsin Rapids, Eau Claire and Platteville. In Marshfield it made the evening news in October, 2005. Dave Meinhardt formed a website.

For any questions about the exhibit or artists either word- or visually focused, contact Russell Gardner at rgj999@yahoo.com or Robin Chapman. While viewers seeking to obtain one of the EPI core show works can negotiate with the artist to purchase it (or something similar). An EPI Artists’ Collection stemmed originally from needing temporary shows for peace conferences, including ones sponsored by Edgewood and St. Norbert’s Colleges and the Wisconsin Council of Churches. But for longer periods, Madison’s Bethel Lutheran Church has exhibited it for a month-long period, as has the Social Justice Center, the Art Beat Gallery and Bartell Theatre. Jane Scharer and Gregg Williard sold works from the EPI collection and then donated the proceeds to help with the costs of transporting EPI works and other expenses.

Please join us with your vision of peaceful imagery! Provide us your poem, other words, visual art, or combination, so long as the external dimension is 12x16 inches (that would include a frame if there is one). And let us know of future venues for the show, that peace imagery continue to spread until no need exists for it!

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