In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word. North Baltimore Middle School Art Students of North Baltimore, Ohio have participated in an International art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace at the North Baltimore Middle/High School.
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 9), 2013, 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 teacher coordinated 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 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.”
Art students in 7th and 8th grade created pinwheels, of all shapes and sizes – as part of the creation process, the students, will write their thoughts about "war and peace / tolerance/ living in harmony with others" on one side. On the other side, they will draw, paint, collage, etc. to visually express their feelings. The students will assemble these pinwheels and on International Day of Peace they will "plant" their pinwheels the North Baltimore Middle/High School as a public statement and art exhibit/installation.
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
Story Submitted by Arica Matthes
(Photos by Sue Miklovic)