Puffin Foundation West
Press and Announcements for Puffin Foundation West
The Way of Peace
PUFFIN WEST has given a grant for an exhibit entitled The Way of Peace, at Northwood ARTSpace, 2231 North High St., Columbus, Ohio 43201. It includes Dianne Efsic's monumental piece Blankets of Sorrow-Four More Years which was previously exhibited at the Puffin Forum in NJ and her installation there made the front page of the NY Times Sunday Local News Section! It was also hung prior to that at the Cultural Arts Center in Columbus, OH. Dianne, who is also the Gallery Director of ARTSpace, has written the names of every fallen American in Iraq on j25s Paper. When the War is over and our troops are returned home, this installation piece will be set afire and the smoke will carry our thanks and tears to the heavens. 10 other artists’ works including four photographs by another former Puffin Fundation grant recipeint, Robert Studzinski, will be included in this show. It is curated by Doug Titchenal. The reception for artists and public is Saturday, December 3, from 5-8. Call for gallery hours 294-5113.
The Way of Peace Northwood ARTSpace 2231 N. High St. Columbus OH November 20 – December 31, 2011
With assistance from UDO and the Puffin Foundation, West
The Way of Peace
Comments by some of the artists on their works in The Way of Peace
When I Was a Boy
The story in this art rendering is sadly true.
I was inspired to create a piece, not just for my son, but for the other children, especially boys, who live in homes where gender is enforced. Where little boys are not free to love their mothers, pick flowers, show any emotion (other than anger) and wear butterfly tattoos. What a beautiful place the world would be if we could release our investment in the social construction of gender and see each person as a universe of energy circling our orbit. (my son’s words). For then we would stand in awe and care of each other instead of fear and hate.
History of the World
As I looked back on my notes as I worked today, it occurred to me that the Bolshevik Revolution was one of the perhaps unintended or least predicted outcomes of World War I, among the most horrific in Europe’s sordid history of wars. “The War to End All Wars, indeed….”
Ann Alaia Woods
The Once and Future TwaTwa King
The tough guys of the waterfront settle their differences in a most unusual way. They meet at dawn on Sunday to fight it out — to twatwa —with their seed finches. The best singer wins.
Anxiously Awaiting the Dangerous Sermon
San Salvador, El Salvador
Archbishop Arturo Rivera y Damas stands in the vestibule of the cathedral, surrounded by altar boys just as Mass is about to begin. They are all sweating
bullets and this has nothing to do with the heat.
The war in El Salvador is still raging with some
75,000 dead. This archbishop is the successor to Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated while saying Mass, after delivering a sermon ordering the government to “in the name of God, stop the repression.” Archbishop Rivera y Damas was about to give the same sermon today.
On November 4th, 1983 forces of the Salvadoran army, whose officers, trained at Ft. Benning, approached the small peasant village of Copapayo. They slaughtered everyone they came across in the fields and woods as they swept toward the village. In the village, they killed every man on the spot. They marched the women and kids several miles across the hills to san Nicolas. The soldiers forced them into a small, one room house on a hacienda, awaiting orders.
The next morning orders came. Eliminate the survivors. The soldiers opened fire and threw grenades through the windows until there was no sign of life. After the troops left, three little boys pulled their way out from under the heap that was their mothers, aunts and siblings.
The boys ran miles to the next hamlet to warn them and tell the world what happened. One of the boys didn’t make it. One hundred and fifty-six Copapayans died. The survivors made it to the U.N. refuge at Mesa Grande in Honduras. Copapayo would resurrect from the grave. Kevin is one of the two survivors of November 5th, 1983
Brothers in Arms
Copapayo, El Salvador
We’d spent almost a week schmoozing the military high command to get permission to visit our Sister City project, the returned refugee village of Copapayo. We had letters of endorsement from Senators and bishops back home. Our hotel room was obviously bugged, we were followed, threatened, and there was even an attempted seduction by the mysterious Senorita Hesbon, who we later bumped into at H.Q. Finally, the Estado Mayor relented and gave us a letter of free passage.
So the next morning bright and early we hit the road, stopping at the military checkpoint at San Martin. Here the atmosphere is tense, to say the least. Boulders blocked the road. Everything was held up, coming and going – buses, ox-carts, cars. Young men were being conscripted on the spot. Like the old British navy, the Salvadoran army seemed to operate on the shanghai-system of recruitment. Serious soldiers also looked for anyone on the list of those wanted by the government’s death squads.
When our turn came we blithely produced the letter of safe passage – all of which meant nothing! “We only take orders from Colonel Francisco Elena Fuentes,” we were curtly informed. Even worse, Colonel Fuentes was believed to be responsible for the Copapayo massacre. We were ordered out of our van. They beat us with their rifles as they furiously searched for contraband. We had illegal items – antibiotics, seeds, crutches, cameras — so we were sweating it, in fear for our lives. Our tax dollars at work.
The soldiers grew infuriated and their threats reached a fever pitch when, suddenly, out of a cloud of dust, pachanga music blared. Ducking and dodging the boulders was the ice cream man! The soldiers looked at each other and then looked at us….. We bought these guys ice cream. Cappuccino seemed to be their favorite. And they sent us back with directions to the lair of the infamous Colonel.
With two still terrified Copapayo women in tow, we passed through the barbed wire barricade, a high, gated wall then a higher wall to enter – almost. In the fort we saw the newly shanghaied recruits unloaded for instant basic training. The Colonel was going to make us wait. We waited so long, shifts changed, so I began walking around like I
belonged there. Finally, the Colonel bid us to enter the inner sanctum – although we were then directed into the dungeon. Tall, bleached blonde to look as Aryan as possible, the Colonel approached us yelling about the penalties for consorting with terrorists. When he finished we calmly talked about checking up on our aid project and the already purchased tractor the dealer needed to move. Again, he forcefully forbade us to go.
We left the inner fort dejected and quite sobered. All of our group made it out through the yard-thick, slowly revolving doors except the two least-Spanish-speaking delegates.
We feared the worst and waited some more. Then the Colonel marched out of the inner fortress followed by a line of troops, our friends and a guy in running shorts – his public relations man.
Mr. PR told us the Colonel had reconsidered. We would be allowed to go to Copapayo. In exchange I was to take a picture of him, with us, his brand new friends. Our mutual protection plan.
We rushed off to Copapayo without delay. There were a few problems though: it was night, when only death squads roamed the city and guerrillas roamed the countryside, Copapayo was only accessible by boat then they had no way of knowing we were coming.
Like the Blues Brothers, undeterred by the obvious, we sped forth into the night. We ditched the van in Suchitoto and found a sleepy boatman to take us across Lake Suchitan.
To our utter amazement, a thousand jubilant Copapyans were waiting on the shore! How could they know? The village band played, as everyone shouted and danced. We had to eat a small feast in front of everyone before we could join the dance.
Through the clouds of dust, we could see a firefight a couple of miles across the lake. Tracer fire, like lightening, from sky to ground and back. Back on shore, figures appeared through the haze. Figures in black, armed. Guerrillas old and bearded, young strapping dudes and these two boys. The story was that this guerrilla band found them as little boys when they came upon the wreckage of an army-massacred hamlet. The boys’ families were dead. They would be raised by the fighter that found them. The band was home. Although it was hard to tell, the boys seemed fine – like boys.