The Epidemic Peace Imagery Project

WP&S proposal spawns partnership of visual artists and poets

by Russell Gardner

20-20 Vision by Kathy Armstrong
The Epidemic Peace Imagery Project commenced Spring, 2003. Poets Claire Box and Robin Chapman declared in a conversation after the first bombs dropped in Iraq that an epidemic of peace must begin, spreading positive images of peace. Chapman’s neighbor, WP&S member, Russell Gardner, had viewed a “We Are Australian” exhibit in Melbourne that featured Australian visual artists helping to reconcile indigenous peoples and immigrants. The project included nearly 300 small works, one per artist. Gardner showed slides of it in the February WP&S meeting.
Gardner and Chapman called for contributions, Gardner to WP&S members in an appeal that circulated well beyond membership while Chapman asked for writer-contributions. The first exhibit by 43 artists opened June 1 at a UW Clinic. It included a poetry reading with proceedings videographed by Mary Moran. All works, one per artist, of both poetic and visual art, were mounted for wall displays in a 12x16 inch size (except for sculpture wherein “footprints” took that size). The Capital Times positively reviewed the exhibit; it then went to the First Unitarian Society.
EPI venues occupy one or two months; future ones include libraries - Madison’s Central, Middleton, and Edgewood College - also West and East High Schools, as well as galleries in Wisconsin Rapids, Sauk City and Door County. Contributed works now number 57 with additional ones promised. Other venues are in development. To help keep up, Dave Meinhardt contributed
An EPI Artists’ Show has newly spun off; this parallel exhibit by EPI artists for temporary venues such as at two peace conferences in Madison and Milwaukee in September and January, respectively.
Enticed? If you wish to participate in one or both projects, notify WPS representative Gardner at or 608 233-2000.

20-20 Vision by Kathy Armstrong If the shoe were on the other foot, by Doug Haynes
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