The National Endowment for the Arts published a report last week that showed a correlation between attending arts events and having increased physical, mental, and cardiovascular health. In addition, researchers observed that simply appreciating or valuing the arts, without attending events, similarly coincided with better overall health and a decrease in age related decline.
More research needs to be done to prove a causal relationship between art and better health (maybe people who are not well just have other things on their minds), but while waiting to find out, why take a chance? Give your grandparents an artistic peace pole. It may enable them to be around long enough to learn the results of the search for causality.
If it turns out that appreciating art does cause age related decline to decrease, does that mean doctors could prescribe artistic peace poles as preventive measures?
My friend Brad Newsham (links to his facebook page) feels strongly enough about his political stands that by himself he has gathered as many as 5,000 people to form words like "Resist" on beaches in California on multiple occasions. The parks departments at first didn't know what to do with him and were not sure they should give him a permit. Now when they see him coming they know the drill. It's the First Amendment. This last weekend he helped 1,100 people form a giant heart on a beach in response to news about groups at the other end of the political divide advocating the opposite of that elsewhere.
But Take a Knee
But there is a thing that he does quietly on his own everyday that I like a lot. The alarm in his phone is set to go off at noon everyday to remind him, wherever he is, no matter what is going on, to stop for a moment and "take a knee." When he has more time to talk about it, I want to get more of his articulation about it to post here, but I think you can understand what a humble, non-confrontational, resetting of perspective that can be midst the cacophony of our hyper-wired world, to stop, even if driving a car, get out and actually put one knee on the ground, close your eyes and bow your head. Sometimes it is for 15 or 20 seconds. Other times it only is for a couple of seconds. He says, "It breaks whatever you've got going on."
Perspective, resetting, and quiet for a moment in the middle of everyday might help on both sides of the divide.
This is the United States Institute of Peace. It is located at 2301 Constitution Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. 20037. It was built in 1984 on the last peace of land available on the mall. It is a federal project, created by our government. So it is ours.
Their website (https://www.usip.org/) says, "USIP is America’s nonpartisan institute to promote national security and global stability by reducing violent conflicts abroad. Our staff guide peace talks and advise governments; train police and religious leaders; and support community groups opposing extremism—all to help troubled countries solve their own conflicts peacefully."
I was asked seven questions about peace poles and art and creativity. The journalist who posed them to me posted the answers at this link. The questions include:
How is one of your peace poles born?
How can a peace pole benefit and function in someone’s garden? In a public space?
It's an upbeat look at more information about peace poles.
Four-foot-long translations of "May peace prevail on earth" in half inch steel for a peace pole that will be comprised of nothing but 40 translations welded together. Since this only is a prototype, it isn't stainless.
Languages shown, top to bottom, are: Yiddish (Latin alphabet version), Spanish and French
Since Google has put me in the position of needing to have more than one basket of eggs, I am making some art that is not peace poles. Like the mobile below.
Someone who saw it said that it should be accompanied by a voice over of Vincent Price from the movie "The Pit and The Pendulum." So it has been dubbed the Guillotine Mobile. How is that for contrast on a site about peace poles?
The chain of "C" shaped hooks I cut out of half inch steel. The blade is quarter inch steel. I made it during June and July of 2017. It is on display at the Pendleton Art Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, the largest number of artists under one roof anywhere in the world (according to the Guinness Book of Records).
The title of this blog could change someday since understanding it requires reading so much
The story behind the "Peace, Dude" name of this blog is that it was a joke that became a solution. I wrote more about that in the middle of a page on this site called "About the Artist," but briefly, I had expressed my desire to create a peace pole that is more lighthearted. Then, without thinking about that, for a joke, inside of a crate of normal peace poles, I included one that, instead of "May peace prevail on earth," just said "Peace, Dude" in four languages. It made so many people smile that it became the pole that they use to introduce people to peace poles (these are people who order them by the crate full) and now is the name of this blog.
War is in headlines. Read the footnotes.