The World Peace Art Initiative: Strengthening Community through Arts, Sciences and Technology

By Lou Rizzolo, Peter Middleton, Dave Lemberg, AICP and Marc Rizzolo.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The World Peace Art Initiative focuses on promoting global peace through the collaborative, creative planning of large- scale environmental outdoor artworks. The Initiative focuses on four beliefs: 1) that the human creative spirit is a common link among all culturally diverse peoples; 2) that the creative process, realized through collaboration and intercultural connections, is a major factor in retaining and promoting a more peaceful, harmonious, and
productive global society; 3) that a creative, collaborative ethic can help bring order out of chaos; and 4) that such concepts are transferable to other ways and conditions of life, and therefore may contribute to a more
qualitative way of life. We have acted upon these principles through a series of workshops, artist residencies, and international collaborations bringing
together teachers and students, artists, scientists, public officials, and
the general public. The events illustrated in this paper have occurred between 2000 and 2007 in Michigan STARR EARTHWORK 2002 and Virginia Tech University USA VIRGINIA TECH SKYE, Stavanger, Norway BJERGSTED INSTALL 2002, Tasmania Australia SOUTHERN CROSS, Tirana Albania ALBANIA SKYE, and Kochi India KERALA LIGHTS FOR PEACE. The participants have incorporated many different means of
expression and collaboration using traditional art media as well as metal and fiber, light, music, dance, air/helium sculpture, crop art, and performance works. Our experiences have shown that the empathy and enthusiasm that is gained
through the creative processes of collaborative artwork provides an effective forum for promoting cultural understanding.

Keywords: Art, Peace Art, World Peace Art, Large-scale Art Collaboration, Environmental Outdoor Art, Collaborative Art, Inflatable Art, Inflatable Light Workshop Collaborative

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.65-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.617MB).

Lou Rizzolo

President BIGThink, Director World Peace Art Initiative, University Professor Emeritus of the Gwen Frostic School of Art, Western Michigan University, Glen, Michigan, USA

As University Professor Emeritus of the Gwen Frostic School of Art, Western Michigan University and President of BIGthink, his career has focused on becoming a significant artist, an inspiring teacher and a scholarly researcher. By 1990, his work focused on art and technology because of a Sabbatical Leave to research environmental multi-media installation/performance, air structure design, laser light technology and collaborative art/science research regarding creativity’s relationship to hemispheric function at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This research led to formation of an Art/Science/Tech Group, BIGthink, which presents lectures and workshops in Creativity Education/Collaboration, Outreach Programs, Health and Well Being Research and Environmental Multi-Media Sculpture Installation/Performances. As a traditional artist, he has taught, lectured and/or exhibited in Canada, Scotland, Switzerland, Hawaii, Austria, France, Norway, Australia, India and the USA and has installed environmental multi-media works in Canada, France, USA, Switzerland, and Norway.

Peter Middleton

Vice-President BIGthink, Education and Curriculum, Black River Public School, Holland, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Peter Middleton, MFA, is a founding Director and 2nd Vice President of BIGthink. He is a primary, secondary and post-secondary art teacher. He has worked extensively as a founding collaborator through the arts with the World Peace Art Initiative, and has participated on many levels in large-scale environmental artworks. Community projects include: VSA Arts for children with disabilities, teacher workshops, and international community projects.

Dr. Dave Lemberg, AICP

Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Dave Lemberg is a geographer and regional planner who applies spatial science to a variety of issues including, land use, economic development, habitat restoration, educational planning, emergency services, transportation, and occasionally, large-scale environmental outdoor artwork. His participation with the World Peace Art Initiative has been in the area of applying remote imagery, Geographic Information Systems and Global Positioning Systems to large scale design and layout.

Marc Rizzolo

Vice President Technology/Site Direction, Creative Design Solutions, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Marc Rizzolo, BFA, is a founding Director and 1st Vice President of BIGthink. He is artist/designer and art installation expert. Since the mid 1980s he has worked extensively as a founding collaborator with the Inflatable Light Workshop Collaborative, the Michigan Millennium Project, and with the World Peace Art Initiative


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