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3/9/2011 10:32:00 AM
Art festival aims to inspire acts of peace
Search for Peace photo by Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss
Erica Maggi displayed her acrylic painting,
Search for Peace photo by Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss
Erica Maggi displayed her acrylic painting, "Enshallah," with the statement, a wish for peace in Egypt.
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Peaceful Blessing, colored pencil drawing by Elina Gouw.

St. Pius X Parish celebrated peace and nonviolence with many forms of art at the 2011 Search For Peace Art Festival, Feb. 25-27.

The festival enjoyed the participation of hundreds of artists and parishioners who voted to select the People's Choice winners.

In the youth artwork category, Elina Gouw's colored pencil drawing, "Peaceful Blessings" was the favorite. In the adult art category, parishioner Kris Steven's, "A Fawn and A Friend" acrylic painting, and Leroy Goertz's, large bronze sculpture "The Guardian," tied for People's Choice. In a new feature of the 2011 Search For Peace, several organizations showed their unique ways to promote peace and nonviolence. Attendees also voted for an organization and Habitat For Humanity was the People's Choice organization.

Each of the four People's Choice winners will receive a Search For Peace Peacemaker medal engraved with his or her name.

St. Pius X School children participated. A fifth grade library class lead by Margaret Burd read selected books and composed related poems on peace or dealing with conflicts. Other classes commemorated Martin Luther King with illustrated papers beginning, "I have a dream.” Many of the students' dreams embodied a yearning for peace and an end to wars. Older students read Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea, and made travel journals about his odyssey building schools in Pakistan.

Several St. Pius faith formation classes shared their works: a peace quilt from the junior high EDGE group, banners by sacramental preparation classes, and the Peace Cross, made by third, fourth and fifth graders using parishioners' Christmas cards.

The winning posters of the Washington County Human Rights Poster Contest were also displayed. The Muslim Educational Trust in Tigard sent the art festival all the posters by their students who participated in its contest. An art class taught by Brother Martin Vu at De La Salle North Catholic High school showed 12 artworks communicating peace.

Many colored pencil drawings relating to peace came from the Chipole School for Girls in Tanzania, Africa. Roger and Kitty Schiltz, Maryknoll affiliates from Lacey, Wash., sent the drawings which they obtained during the months they worked at Chipole setting up a library for the school.

Adelante Mujeres, a program for Latino women in Forest Grove, and a recipient of a Catholic Campaign for Human Development grant, displayed numerous student artworks relating to peace and healing. Knowing that many adult students have suffered violence, Adelante Mujeres began a violence reduction program. The program helps the students heal emotionally and explore the benefits of forgiveness.

A new documentary film, "From Victim to Victor," produced and directed by Father Agnelo Gomes, showed at the festival. The documentary describes the journey of healing by Father Micheal Lapsley after he is hurt in an explosion during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Attendees were so moved by the film that they stayed more that half an hour after the film discussing the issues of apartheid, violence, and healing that it raised.

In the coming months many of the artworks from the 2011 Search or Peace Art Festival maybe seen at www.SearchForPeaceArt.org along with art from previous years.

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