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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Providence Campus: Peace Art Project- A Month of Peace, Sept. 1-30

Media Contact: Steven Pennell, 401-277-5206

Features sculpture of Anne Mimi Sammis & the “In Our Family” exhibit from the Family Diversity Project

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- August 26, 2010 -- The Peace Art Project is a month-long celebration of a peace in Providence. It represents the collaboration of five prominent organizations and the support of many additional community organizations and individuals to encourage nonviolence and peace in our community. Among the participants in the partnership are Steven Pennell of the URI Feinstein Providence Campus Urban Arts and Culture Program, Rebecca Siemering of Providence Art Windows, Jodi Glass of the RI Commission on Prejudice and Bias, Ginny Fox of the Peace Flag Project, and Deanna Camputaro of the Arts, Communication, and Teaching Academy of Central Falls High School, a URI Academy Public School and the Rhode Island for Community and Justice.

Drawing on a rich local culture of art and peace, the partnership is mounting exhibitions September 1-30, 2010 in support of the annual celebration of the United Nation's International Day of Peace. The exhibits will take place in Providence at the URI Providence Campus Gallery, the Providence Art Windows and First Unitarian Church of Providence. The exhibits will run throughout September and are free and open to the public.

“Art can inspire us, move us; it helps us to see the world in a fresh way. Opening us up to new ways of thinking about peace through art is the focus of this new year-long collaborative effort by several Providence art, peace and educational organizations,” said Steven Pennell, Coordinator of the URI Providence Arts and Culture Program. “We’re delighted to be working with all these groups to create and exhibit art about peace, an important issue for each of us and for our world.”

This exciting art/peace partnership is planned as Providence’s seventh annual celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace. Ginny Fox, Director of the Peace Flag Project and principal organizer of Providence’s Peace Day celebrations for the last six years added, “it has been an inspiration to watch these annual peace celebrations grow year after year. We are particularly pleased that in 2010 the peace celebration will span the whole month of September.”

Exhibit features the inspiring sculpture of Anne Mimi Sammis along with the "In Our Family Exhibit" from the Family Diversity Project.

Anne Mimi Sammis’ works are represented in more than 300 public and private collections world wide. The sculptures range in size from 1-22 feet and in corporate fountains and moveable figures. (One of her works, Peace is Here, is shown above.) Sammis supports the global work for peace with her artwork entitled One Thousand Years of Peace, an exhibition of 30 bronze sculptures. This body of work was exhibited at the United Nations in 2001. It was previously shown at the United Nations in 1999 and following that at The Hague, Netherlands, in conjunction with The Hague Appeal for Peace Conference. Ms. Sammis received a commission from the Archbishop of Canterbury for Lambeth Palace, England to honor Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, June 2002.

In Our Family, with photographs by Gigi Kaeser and interviews edited by Peggy Gillespie and Rebekah Boyd, celebrates the diversity of family life in 21st century America, introducing the viewers to single-parent families, families living with physical or mental challenges, immigrant families, adoptive families, foster families, divorced families, gay and lesbian-parented families, stepfamilies, multiracial families, multi-generational families, and many others in the family circle.

Family Diversity Projects (FDP) is a non-profit educational organization founded by exhibit creators, Peggy Gillespie (interviewer/editor) and Gigi Kaeser (photographer). They have created four photo-text exhibits (three of which have been published in book form) to help eliminate prejudice, stereotyping, and harassment of people discriminated against due to race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, gender, class, and disability. The mission of FDP is to propel forward a world where all families are recognized, valued and fully supported, when "normal" or "different" are words not used to describe family, and where the right to define family is respectfully restored to individuals.

The exhibit will feature the work local professional and community artists including Constance Allen, Jon Almond, Nora Almond, Decoda Arlia, Sharon Armour, Sally Baker, Mary Ellen Beniot, Elizabeth Berroa, Alfred A. Brissette, Sr., Jenny Cabreja, Groswon Casey, Gigi Colson, the late Christiane Corbat, Ron Cowie, David (Ronnie) Delanos Jr., Celine DelPesco, Ruth Emers, Lilian R. Engel, Patricia Flyntz, Nancy Green, Jessica Henderson, Jerock, Lee Johnson, Fredrick Kent, Amy Kinney, Kathy King, Gabrielle Lancelot, Nora Lewis, Dana MacKinnon, Saberah Malik, Zan Nordlund, Jocilyn Pagan, Hannah Resseger, Megan Reynolds, Jade Sisti, Basma Samira, Elizabeth Cole Sheehan, Rebecca Siemering, Karin Sprague, Kathleen Sonier, Chris Sisson, Anna-Marie Still, Keleigh Thompson, Jessica Thurber, Anthony Tomaselli, Michele Vara, Amy Webb, and community artists from Beacon Charter School, Central Falls High School, McAuley House, Traveling Theatre Company at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus Lobby Galleries, the Atrium Gallery of the First Unitarian Church of Providence and several of the Providence Art Window locations.

September Programming will also include:

Saturday, September 11 6:30 pm
Youth Speak Out: A Celebration of Peace led by Rhode Island For Community & Justice in Paff Auditorium

Thursday, September 16, 5 – 9 pm
A Gallery Night Reception for the exhibit at URI Providence Campus Gallery with Music, Drama Spoken Word and Body Tracing with the Institute for Study and Practice of Nonviolence.

Sunday, September 19, 3-6 pm
A Peace Day Celebration sponsored by the Peace Flag Project in Burnside Park with performances by storytellers, dancers, singers, with exhibitors and activities for adults and children and a Walking Meditation around the park at 5:00 pm.

Tuesday, September 21 at 7 pm
International Day Of Peace Concert at URI Feinstein Providence Campus featuring Morgan’s Dreamworld, original Jam-Band, and World Dance Performance by Human Creativity from Central Falls HS.

URI Providence Campus 1st & 2nd Floor Lobby Galleries
80 Washington St Providence RI 02903
Hours: Monday–Thursday 9am - 9pm, Friday & Saturday 9am - 5pm closed Sundays.
For more information call Steven Pennell 277-5206 spennell@etal.uri.edu or visit: uri.edu/prov.