The Peace Angels Project was created in 1992 as a contemporary sword to plowshares art movement. Art shifts consciousness. Including weapons symbolically engages a powerful message.
The Peace Angels Project utilizes art, media and community in a powerfully intertwined set of actions. These actions include the creation of the art, the request for weapons, the promotion of peace and the power of place - the meaningful public site. The balance between peace and protection is eternal and measureable in all forms of life. To bring this human axiom to contemporary action is the Peace Angels Project.
The Peace Angels Project requests weapons from countries and communities through a military and law enforcement set of legal protocols. The Peace Angels Project embraces all peoples and includes everyone. Most people want peace. It is in how we get there that we disagree.
As an artist, it interests me to ask human beings for weapons that they use in war, and conflict. The conversation lends itself to discussions of protection or aggression. To give up the weapons indicates that a community is ready to build and has a sense of hope and possibility. The weapons that are included are unused, non-active nuclear ICBM stainless, land mines, and cluster bombs, street weapons such as guns, cannons, swords, and knives, and can even include drug needles and hair pins. Weapons of violence come in all forms. When asked by the Los Angles Arts Commission why I melt down weapons, I responded that to create a work of art we need to melt down a physical material. I can't melt down a lack of kindness.
As an artist, the whole of the movement interests me. Before creating the art, the thought process and conversations lead to interaction. The weapons destruction changes the nature of the use of the metal. Melting the weapons down, pouring it into molds and welding it into formation, polishing it so that we can see our reflections, are all an aspect of the work of art. The impact of having a monument created from hundreds of thousands of weapons will last in perpetuity to keep a focus on peace.
The Peace Angels Project began on November 3, 1992 in Los Angeles, California. At that time an average of 1,000 children were killed annually in Los Angeles County. In the 20 years since, that number had been reduced in LA, but the number of children killed globally continues to rise. War exists. Violence exists. Consciousness shifts our thinking. Our thinking affects our actions. The vocation of Art is to shift consciousness.
It is fitting that the first public Peace Angel monument be erected in downtown Los Angeles. This megalopolis has over 224 languages spoken in its borders, 92 languages spoken in its schools. Los Angeles is the United States of America of the United States of America. The number one media center on earth, Los Angeles has a platform for diversity, and it was here that the Peace Angels Project was born. The experience of seeing in the LA Times (November 1992) that 1,000 children were being killed annually by street weapons, and then looking down to see my son's face, marked the beginning of the Peace Angels Project.
It has taken witnessing the wars, representing Social Justice at the United Nations, and researching in the neighborhoods, to understand the simplest of notions: it is up to each of us to be nonviolent. It is the only platform to build upon. In speaking with both Michael Bloomberg (Mayors Against Illegal Guns) and Julianne Versnel, (Second Amendment Foundation), I was struck by the great overlap in in their concern for the protection of human beings.
The Los Angeles Peace Angel monument for downtown Los Angeles brings together the political steps in acquiring the site, the message promoted thru the media, and the technological and art world actions to produce and present this icon of peace.
The monuments will include thousands of weapons. Support for the Peace Angels Monument continues to pour in:
From Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar, 14th District:
The Peace Angel Monument will inspire a call to action and encourage citizens to build a life-affirming world community. This is the time for a different platform and awe-inspiring examples of peace. I am thrilled that Los Angeles will house the Peace Angels Monument. I am glad to strongly support the monument...
From Los Angeles Councilman Bernard Parks, 8th District:
The Peace Angels Project has grown to become the symbol of peace in the world in the midst of all the turmoil present in today's day and age. The Peace Angels Project promotes peace by creating Peace Angel monuments from repurposing weapons, like guns into sculptures that reflect the culture and history in communities in which they are placed. As a nationally-recognized organization, The Peace Angels Project has become an important example of peace in Los Angeles over the past 22 years.
From Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge, 4th District:
This idea of the Peace Angel is used as a medium of peace and transformation by repurposing weapons like guns, land mines, cluster bombs and decommissioned nuclear missiles into a beautiful sculpture. The Peace Angels monuments do not stand for a lack of defense or a lack of production, but instead stand for mutual respect, honor, harmony and productive peace. The proposed monument in downtown Los Angeles is expected to incorporate approximately 100,000 weapons. These weapons are donated or confiscated and signify a pledge to build a productive and prosperous life of good conduct, good commerce and integrated worth.
From Cheif Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Department:
As Chief of Police for the Los Angeles Police Department, I am writing to express my support for the creation of your Peace Angel Monument. I, along with all the men and women in the LAPD, look forward to working with you and the City of Los Angeles' Cultural Affairs Department to promote the message of peace and hope through the transformation of weapons taken off of the streets in the City of Los Angeles...
From Congresswoman Janice Hahn, U.S. House of Representatives, California's 36th District (former Councilwoman, 15th District):
For Lin Evola to take our weapons... and turn them into something of beauty... is truly beyond words... Having a Peace Angel in Los Angeles will send a message.
From Richard Riordan, former Mayor of Los Angeles:
I was pleased to learn that the... project was conceived... in our City of Angels... the sculpture will be a poignant memorial for those who have been lost to violent acts and... as a symbol of hope for future generations...
The first weapons-poured Peace Angel was given to then President William Jefferson and Hillary Rodham Clinton, April 1997; pouring covered by CNN.
The original Angel of Peace Awards were Peace Angel sculptures. Recipients include: Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, Supervisor Zev Yaroslovsky and City Attorney Mark Feur.
The design of the Los Angeles Peace Angel monument includes a Peace Angel holding children with a cornucopia of plenty at her feet. The weapons upon the base are in view. They are weapons created by mankind. The question is how are they used? As objects of protection and/or as vehicles for extreme violence? On the base called The Conversation will be 32 full sized sculptures of individuals who have accomplished "Extreme Good". All are created from the stainless and weapons mix with a high polished silver-toned surface.
To manifest real peace, a level of wellbeing has to be engaged. Education, employment, health services, and progressive development - all have to be a part of the environment. Individuals build companies, support charities, develop scenarios for conflict resolution, cause peace progression without oppression, etc. etc. To be lifted up, it is my belief that each generation answers the questions of prior generations and leaves their own unanswered questions for future generations to complete. It is a powerful message to leave examples of those who took a stand for peace and contributed to the betterment of our world on a both microcosmic and macrocosmic level. Human beings are not perfect. In fact, we are the epitome of imperfection. From that platform, to do something to benefit humanity is a profound challenge.
The nature of art is to impact the time period in which it was created. Artists absorb the world as it is around them; they receive the visceral nerve of a time period and thru their art, give it back. The Peace Angels are measured using the Divine Mean proportions and are created combining historic art foundry methods and the most contemporary cutting edge technology. Combining imagery that is based on both representative and smooth edged architecture, the image itself is highly detailed as well as leaving room for the viewer to see themselves. Who is responsible for creating peace?
It has been an integral aspect of the Peace Angeles Project to inspire the utilization of the uplifting image of a Peace Angel sculpture to represent the ideal of possibility. It is the imagery of the humanitarians on the base, engaged in conversation, whose actions contribute to the actualizing of a better world. It is this group of individuals who will stand with the Peace Angel in perpetuity to represent us. Some of those on the base will have contributed with actions, some with funds, and all with profound acts of kindness. Whatever the action, the gift that they gave helped to move humankind forward. I personally feel that kindness progresses a level of evolution.
The Peace Angel will stand in perpetuity as a beautiful, powerful, and inspiring work of art; representing peace and dedicated to cherishing life.
The fine art and cutting-edge Technical Team who will create the Peace Angel monuments, are the best in the world. Their team fusion brings together a process that has never been done before. This innovation, bringing together the best of Art and Technology, will interface with the political and law enforcement teams to destroy thousands of weapons. Our media partners will promote this message of peace to transform thinking and the realm of the possible.
Our core team includes:
Dick Polich, Polich Artworks, New York; Artist clients include: Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel, Frank Stella.
John Biesek, Penwal Industries, Los Angeles; major clients include: Disney, Kennedy Space Center, Smithsonian, NASA, Warner Bros.
Domi Piturro, Icon Imaging, Los Angeles; Clients include: Sony, Disney, Warner Bros., Electronic Arts.
Darleen Asire, Asire Development, Los Angeles; Bill and Melinda Gates, Cipriani, New York
Four of the Peace Angels:
The Renaissance Peace Angel, permanent collection of the September 11th Memorial and Museum, New York City, NY, 2013.
The Africa Peace Angel unveiled at the premiere museum of South Africa by Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2002.
The Original Peace Angel which opened the UN Summit, in 2002.
Mexico Peace Angel, Peace Talks, San Andreas de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, 1995.
In creating the Peace Angels monuments, art is produced telling a narrative told thru the sketches, drawings, paintings and maquettes.
Peace Sign paintings were created last year integrating nuclear weapons metal in the ink. This is the first time in history that nuclear stainless has been integrated into a symbol that began as anti-nuclear.
This year, Peace Sign sculptures including the nuclear stainless are being offered to those who want to purchase one of the limited editions to support the first city-sized Peace Angel monument for downtown Los Angeles. The metal is polished at a high gloss, reflecting our world as it is and reminding us who is pivotal in the promotion of peace.
The weapons will be used in all of the art, including technologically ground breaking sputtered weapons paintings which tell the human story of war, conflict, peace, building and creation.
To contact the Peace Angels Project: firstname.lastname@example.org
On The Edge with Georgene Summers will air an interview with Lin Evola, Founder of the Peace Angels Project on October 8, 2014 at 10am PT www.voiceamericavariety.com