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What Does Peace Look Like?




SAN FRANCISCO - University of San Francisco (USF) professor of visual arts and celebrated artist Richard Kamler wants the world to see images of peace, not war. "If we don't have a multinational vision of what peace looks like, we'll never get there," says Kamler. On Memorial Day, May 26, his vision of peace, and those of nine other artists from around the globe, will go on display on large billboards throughout San Francisco for a month, May 26 - June 22. "Why confine these images to the walls of a museum when we can take them to the community and have a significant impact?" says Kamler.


Peace Billboard by Iranian-American artist Taraneh Hemami
click to enlarge


Artists from Iran, Tibet, Cuba, El Salvador, Israel, Japan, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Ukraine and the United States of America, created their art expressly for the Billboard Project. This project is part of Kamler's ongoing Seeing Peace: Artists Collaborate with the United Nations, a visionary international initiative that seeks to bring the artists' imagination to the table of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Their art is a far cry from rainbows and doves. Images include a swaddled baby in a gun sight, and a grime-covered war tank split in half by white lilies. The art is intended to explore the infinite possibilities of the imagination and to engage the community in dialogue around peace, says Kamler. "Imagine, if you will, that Picasso had painted Guernica before the bombs fell on Guernica. Might it have been different? We believe art can be pro-active."


On Memorial Day, a free Billboard Project bus tour (open to the public) will depart the University of San Francisco at 10:00 a.m. The tour sponsored by USF and led by Kamler and the international artists who are able to attend, offers participants a chance to discuss the role of art in peacemaking and to create their own images of what peace looks like. Space is limited, and reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.  To reserve your seat, please contact Anne-Marie Devine at 415.422.2697 or


The Seeing Peace Billboard Project is a featured exhibit of the 2008 San Francisco International Arts Festival. The billboards, which will be on display from May 25 to June 22, will be located at:


   Divisadero & O'Farrell

   Cesar Chavez & Evans

   Mission & 17th                 

   Mission & 6th              

   22nd & Irving

   Masonic & Fulton

   Valencia & Duboce                  

   Broadway & Montgomery        

   3rd & 19th           

   Judah & 9th


The Billboard Project greatly appreciates the support from the University of San Francisco, Rex Foundation, Puerto Nuevo Fund, LEF Foundation, Richard C. Blum Family Fund, and the Peace Development Fund. Special thanks to CBS/Clear Channel for their support and cooperation with the billboards, Borderzone Arts for their work with the artists from Ukraine, Cuba and Puerto Rico, and SomArts for the generous funding.


Members of the media, please contact Anne-Marie Devine, to request images, set-up interviews with the artists, and to reserve your seat on the bus. Please note space is limited. Anne-Marie Devine at 415.422.2697 or


For additional details about Seeing Peace billboard project, please visit



Richard Kamler is an artist, curator, and educator who has been creating issue-driven art since 1976. His works have been exhibited around the world including Alcatraz Island, the East Jerusalem Cultural Center, Amsterdam Center for Experimental Art, Boston's McMullen Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Kamler approaches his practice from the premise that art is, and can be, a catalyst for social change and cultural transformation. His list of honors includes a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a California Arts Council fellowship, and a major artist grant from George Soros Open Society Institute. For more information about Richard Kamler, please visit



... Payvand News - 05/30/08 ... --

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