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[teacherartexchange] Pinwheels for Peace - Sept. 21st


From: Ann Ayers (art304_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 21 2005 - 10:30:14 PDT

It's not too late to participate in an international art installation
project for World Peace Day, Sept. 21st!
Please consider joining and, please help us spread the word to make
this a global event! We have participation from somewhere in every
state except for Hawaii, New Mexico, Alaska and South Dakota - we are
also seeking more participation from other countries (we have put up
the information in different languages as well). If you have already
indicated your participation, we thank you!

Pinwheels for Peace - Sept. 21
In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word.

Today’s students are bombarded with television images, video games,
and magazine articles/newspapers that give importance to conflict and
war. Violence has become commonplace and accepted as part of our
society and, for some students, it is a way of life. It is our hope
that through the Pinwheels for Peace project, we can help the
students make a public visual statement about their feelings about
war/ peace/ tolerance/ cooperation/ harmony/ unity and, in some way,
maybe, awaken the public and let them know what the next generation
is thinking.

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.

A pinwheel is a childhood symbol – it reminds us of a time when
things were simple, joyful, peaceful. A pinwheel is easily made using
just about any type of material, from copy paper, to thin plastic, to
lightweight metal. The stick of the pinwheel can be as simple as a
pencil or as intricate as a carved stick or metal rod. Pinwheels can
be made as small as one inch in diameter or as large as desired –
limited only by the creator’s materials and motivation. Pinwheels can
be minimal or very complex – imagination, creativity (and a mild
breeze) are the only variables needed.

Students will create pinwheels, 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. The writing can be poetry, prose, haiku, or
essay-style – whatever writing form is appropriate as the children
express themselves. On the other side, the students will draw, paint,
collage, etc. to visually express their feelings. They will assemble
these pinwheels and on International World Peace Day, Sept. 21, 2005,
everyone will "plant" their pinwheels outside (at the schools,
museum, public places, etc.) 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, the world!

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started by two Art
teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, who teach at Monarch High
School in Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express
their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their
lives. The project was quickly embraced by their students and the
entire school community.

Although the project was conceived as a way for students to express
their feelings, we are hoping that artists, non-artists, young people
and not-so-young people - EVERYONE- participates. Peace is something
that we all yearn for.. We have commitments from schools, religious
groups, individuals, home-schoolers, and girl scout troops!

To date, we have more than 400 locations all over the world that have
committed to spinning pinwheels on World Peace Day. More are being
added every day.

Please visit our website: for
pinwheel directions and more information.

If you have any questions, please contact us. In advance, we thank

Ann Ayers & Ellen McMillan
Monarch High School
Coconut Creek, FL 33073

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