Artist for Peace” is an exhibition that aims to support the kind of “people first” diplomacy Chris Stevens stood for and advocated his entire life, even in the face of adversity. Chris was consistently exposed to the dangers and darkness of humanity, yet remained optimistic despite every reason not to. In this vein, the “Artist for Peace” exhibition strives to overcome injustices and gather in a safe place to finally exhale and simply admire the beautiful. The support for this exhibition from the artistic community has been overwhelming. Artists from around the world have created an exhibition that rejoices in harmony, thereby drowning out the dissonant voices rallying against peace. This collaboration and cultural exchange moves us toward greater freedoms.
Many of these artists have struggled with oppressive governments that restrict their freedom to display art. By joining forces, a variety of artists and gallerists made it possible to showcase work despite nationality or background. The extraordinary people doing this work are driven by empathy. They believe art is a right. It is healing, and it is transformative. It helps the vulnerable regain hope and belief in the face of conflict, trauma and hardship. Certainly, conflict is ever-present. It works its way into everyday life with remarkable persistence. Our exhibition strives to reaffirm the notion that we are armed against this nightmarish reality with the power of art.
This event would not have been possible without Ethan Chorin and Mohamad Bin Lamin who managed to retrieve a wealth of work from Libya. The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley has also been integral to organizing this event. Their continued dedication to provide the Ambassador J Chris Stevens scholarship program ensures his vision of new generations of students who will expand their knowledge of the Middle East and North Africa. Furthermore, Chris continues to touch people scattered around the globe who remain inspired by his unwavering integrity, courage, tolerance, and character.
Information on exhibition:
Benefit reception: December 9th, 4-7pm
Exhibition open to the public:
December 10th, 16th, 17th, 1-5pm (or by appointment)
Worth Ryder Art Gallery,
Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley Campus