Art: Not (Just) a Pretty Picture

by Pamela Goode

Ciel Gallery’s exhibition entitled The War Against Peace presents the responses of artists across the nation as they ponder the question of why we continue to cry for peace and simultaneously continue to wage war. Best of Show winner Janet Kozachek, whose Fallen Floyd is pictured above, illustrates the emotional and physical torture of war in stone and handmade ceramic. Phil Fung‘s War and Peace depicts a hundred or so maniacal beatings and beheadings in cartoon style, overpainted with an Asian character for Peace. CharlesCaldemeyer ‘s four interconnected canvases intersect with a spiral stair descending into the depths in Creators and Destroyers. Kenric Johnson photographs the war toys outgrown by his own sons, in a bittersweet commentary on youth, parenting, and the coming of age for war. Fred Sexton continues this theme with his portraits of child soldiers. Sandra Lynn Gray‘s Destruction By Money catalogues the rampant abuse of our planet, while Laura Brosi created a “wartime pinata” of shredded names of every American killed in Iraq since Bush declared that our mission had been accomplished in May of 2003. This piece is aptly titled Unfinished (MIssion Accomplished), and gets a bit larger every week.

These aren’t just pretty pictures. Some aren’t pretty at all. But each serves to make us think about our own choices and whether or not we choose to act on them.

The War Against Peace Exhibition continues through Friday, November 7 at Ciel Gallery, 1519 Camden Road, Charlotte, NC. Sneak previews are here. Please email me for more information on any of the artists or artworks pictured. And if you stop in the gallery for a closer look, bring or create a Peace Flag to hang in our community installation, adding a few more voices to the cry for Peace.