Jim Halloran, Community Arts Programmer wrote to say:

The Youth Art Peace Pole Project was brought to Arlington County’s Creative Arts Camp in the summer of 2014.  Collaborating with Jennifer Droblyen, we came up with the basic concept of how we would bring the Peace Pole to the 5-8 year old kids in our program.  Each child would use glass paint with a wire armature to create a work of art.   We would then combine the individual pieces on the pole to create a collaborative artwork, much in the way peace functions; all parties must work together in order to create harmony.

We decided on using the theme of nature, more specifically the diversity of insects, which would include butterflies and beetles.  Each vibrant insect would represent and incorporate a language; the message being, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”  Staff member Nicole Manes and I led the two-part project.  We introduced the project and then asked the children about what peace meant to them.  We had answers ranging from “peace and quiet” to a more complex understanding of how countries operate.  Some understood peace through the contrasting lens of war, being its opposite.  I also saw frustration as to how war was possible, when every child here sought peace.  Ultimately, we all had a unique interpretation of the word, with all of us agreeing we wanted peace in the world.

To start the project, we first handed out the precut transparencies.  The kids were fascinated by the diverse languages, and some asked if they could use ones they had cultural connections to.  The paint started to flow and soon they were finished with part 1.  Later, we had another session for touch-ups, as the paint sometimes dries thinly.  After a few days we peeled off the paint from the plastic sheets that held them and attached them to the pole.  The kids were excited to find their art among the group, as one painting often connected to another.

On the last day of camp, we displayed the completed Peace Pole to the family and friends of our small artists.  In the end 30 children and 2 staff participated to create our Peace Pole; all parties’ involved shared pride in its creation, as it was a totally collaborative experience.  The Peace Pole will find a permanent home at Fairlington Community Center, in Arlington VA, in the fall of 2014.

Creative Resources, Department of Parks & Recreation 

Art Studios at Fairlington Community Center

Arlington, VA

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VA Youth Art Peace Pole created from the young minds at the Art Studios at Fairlington Community Center

VA Youth Art Peace Pole created from the young minds at the Art Studios at Fairlington Community Center