Speak Peace: American Voices Respond to Vietnamese Children's Paintings, currently on display at the UA Poetry Center, features poems written in response to Vietnamese children's paintings on peace and war.
The traveling exhibit contains 34 paintings collected by the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The museum has held a yearly art contest for the past 10 years. Each painting is displayed with one or more poems written in response to the art. Poems were written by American children, veterans and writers. Sixty poems were chosen out of 1,200 that were submitted.
Tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 17, at 11:30 a.m., members of the Hopi Foundation's Owl and Panther Project will read their poetic responses to the painings. Speak Peace is on display through Friday, Sept. 23.
The exhibit is a collaboration between the War Remnants Museum, Kent State’s Wick Poetry Center and School of Art Galleries, and Soldiers’ Heart, a veterans’ return and healing organization.
The paintings are very expressive with bold colors and graphic images. "Terrible War" by Nguyen Pham Bao Tran, 12, shows planes dropping bombs, fires burning, black clouds of smoke, dead bodies and a distraught man.
These children "are growing up in a society (where) remnants of war, both physically and emotionally are very present. It's part of their everyday life," says David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center.
The public is invited to add their thoughts about war and peace to a large scale installation created by local artist Kim Largey. The installation is in the children's corner of the Poetry Center.