"Gardner had seen a powerful Australian exhibit of nearly 300 same-sized works..."

How It Started

Robin & Russell

The show originated in coffee between friends Claire Box, peace activist, and Robin Chapman, whose poems appear on the PoetsAgainsttheWar.Org website. Box and Chapman wanted to see more than antiwar work, a visioning of a path for peace. Why couldn’t images of peace catch the imagination and spread as contagiously as fear? When Chapman reported this conversation to Russell Gardner, visual artist and her backyard neighbor, a collaboration sprang up. 

Gardner had seen a powerful Australian exhibit of nearly 300 same-sized works on the theme of reconciliation of the immigrant and Aboriginal cultures, and proposed to the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors Society that size restriction would unify individual visions. A call for work to the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors brought over 40 contributors and a volunteer committee including visual artists Kathy Armstrong, Lynn Hellmuth, Monique Isham, Jane Scharer, Stephanie Smith, and Mary Thurrell. More contributions are hoped for as artists and writers respond to the show. 

The EPI exhibit will travel for at least a year, with shows already scheduled for the Madison Central Public Library in September and the Colucci Gallery at West High School in November, 2003. In the spring it will travel to other cities, where local artists and writers will contribute their own work in what the participants envision as an exponential burst of creative energy. 

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