"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way -- things I had no words for." Georgia O'Keefe, Painter
|Mural from the Peace, Unity & Healing Mile (The-Art-Miles-Mural-Project.org)
Joanne Tawfilis is the co-founder of The Art Miles Mural Project. Together with her husband, Fouad Tawfilis, she hopes to encircle Egypt's great pyramids in 2010 with twelve miles of murals. People from all over the world, of all ages and cultures, are creating art that's either painted or sewn onto canvas that measures 12' X 5'. Eventually, these canvasses will be joined together to create the longest painting in the world. But getting into the Guinness Book of World Records wasn't their only goal. Joanne and Fouad wanted to create a project that would "teach children understanding and respect."
|Joanne Tawfilis (The-Art-Miles-Mural-Project)
The first murals I saw were at the iEARN conference in Slovakia in 2004.
I remember brilliant colors, paintings of people and animals and plants, finger-paintings and even one mural from Africa that was all hand-sewn from scraps of fabric because they didn't have paintbrushes and paints. But my favorite one was blank. This was the one that was to be painted by us, the Youth Summit, at the iEARN conference. Kids from Japan, Africa, Russia, Egypt, Taiwan and many other countries joined together to create one big piece of art. I remember kids laughing and having a great time painting. From my experience, I feel that Joanne and Fouad's project truly embraces peace by bringing people together.
Some thoughts from Joanne:
"Somehow we (my husband Fouad and myself) never dreamt the mural project would get so much attention."
|Joanne and Fouad Tawfilis
"With each brush stroke, the masterpiece grows like a spring flower in an overnight rainstorm."
"When we look at the murals, each of them, we see something new each time and savor the joy of children being together unaffected by the barriers the world so readily constructs around them."
"By growing up in a world of bigotry and racism, sexism, and all the other "isms" that exist, this mural project works like an electric eraser. It washes away the years of tears, the injured heart, the clipped wings, the prisons and ropes that always get in the way of letting us care, really care, about each other."
"For all YOU parents, teachers, organizations, leaders, students, business people, individuals, caregivers, and loving citizens, thank you, thank you, thank you! We believe what is happening is fulfilling our objective of creating global harmony through art."
|An Amazingly Beautiful Mural
The beautiful mural above is the dedication mural of The Women's Mural Mile. It was painted by Austrian artist Silvia Pecha in honor of Joanne's mentor, artist Laurel Burch, "a courageous and lifelong woman humanist, whose artwork has served as an inspiration and healing vehicle to women worldwide."
Many canvasses have already been painted, but there's still much work to be done. Maybe after you read this, you'll help Joanne by creating a mural of your own. Go to The Art Miles Mural Project Web site below and see how you can be a part of creating this masterpiece.
|Details from two separate murals done by children in Cuba and Canada.
THERE WILL BE 12 MILES OF MURALS
The Multicultural Diversity Mile
The Environmental Mile
The Indigenous People's Mile
The Women's Mile
The Senior Mural Mile
The Great Wall Mural Mile
The Peace, Unity & Healing Mile
The Music Mile
The Mentors Mile
The Sports Mile
The Fairy Tale Mile
The Art Miles Mural Project
- A global art project creating 12 miles of murals for the International Decade of Peace, 2001-2010. Join them by clicking here.
Kids For Saving Earth
- provides free, inspiring, environmental education curriculum by mail and online. Conservation, endangered species, rainforests, forests, toxic waste sites, health issues, and ecological concerns are covered on this Web site. Earth day should be every day!
Arts and Healing Network
- is an online resource celebrating the connection between art and healing.
- People all over the world are joining together to bring peace to our hearts and our planet through the prayer May Peace Prevail on Earth
International Education and Resource Network
- iEARN is the world's largest non-profit global network that enables young people to use the Internet and other new technologies to engage in collaborative educational projects that both enhance learning and make a difference in the world.