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Youth art focused on theme of peace

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Maria-Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

Artwork by children from 13 different countries is on display in a 15-piece exhibit at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Mary Eisenhower, president and CEO of People to People International and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower's granddaughter, was present Dec. 1 to debut the "Global Youth Murals" exhibition, on Concourse E, at Hartsfield-Jackson.

The exhibit was organized by People to People International's Atlanta chapter and the Colorful Arts Society, Inc., based in Fayetteville, and is intended to showcase work that fosters "peace through understanding," according to People to People.

"I cannot think of a more perfect place for these beautiful murals to be displayed," said Mary Eisenhower, in a prepared statement. "It is a remarkable opportunity to increase exposure to these expressions of peace and community."

According to Katherine Marbury, manager of the Airport Art Program at Hartsfield-Jackson, the temporary exhibit will be on display until the end of the year.

While viewing a mural, Roy Caffrey discussed his opinion of the artwork with his wife, Nora Caffrey.

Roy Caffrey, of California, said he is in accord with the universal message projected through the array of artwork.

"The ideas that are here are very good," he said.

Mary Eisenhower said the exhibit consists of 15 unique murals created by children of 13 different countries that deliver one message for viewers: peace. Each mural represents the work of a classroom that may range from elementary school to high school levels, she said.

Countries that participated included Lithuania, Russia, Mexico, and the U.S.

One of the murals is entitled, "Tears of Hate," and is by students in Mexico. The piece depicts a large eye with a dove in its iris, shedding a light-blue tear. The tear includes images of impoverished children.

Arnold Martin, III, president of the Colorful Arts Society, said the non-profit corporation approached the Atlanta chapter of People to People International about bringing the artwork to Hartsfield-Jackson.

Martin added that he is a trustee for the Atlanta chapter of People to People International.

Eisenhower said the murals are part of People to People International's School and Classroom Program, which connects teachers and their students with classes in other countries. Pen pal exchanges and projects that improve cultural understanding and further friendships are part of the program, she said.

Eisenhower said her grandfather founded People to People International on Sept. 11, 1956, and strongly believed in peaceful relations between nations.

"This is the kind of thing he had in mind, that people could communicate without the language and culture barriers," she said.

According to Eisenhower, People to People International was created to enhance international understanding and friendship, through a variety of activities, including the trade of ideas and experiences among people of different countries and cultures.

David Vogt, manager of the Airport Art Program at Hartsfield-Jackson, said the airport wanted to support the exhibit created by youngsters around the world. The exhibit complements the airport's Youth Art Galleries, he said.

"The international concourse [Concourse E] is perfect," said Vogt about the exhibit's location. People to People International's "mission to support the arts is parallel to our mission to get the art out to our passengers," he said.