Peace of Art in Tucson Arizona

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 3:10 AM

Thursday morning we loaded the artwork and took off towards the west, towards Tucson. Ended up taking two cars since the artwork didn't fit in one car... and so I had to drive alone in my toaster. The wind was really bad as we left El Paso. I was becoming frustrated as we kept going. The wind was quite strong and even though I saw the speedometer reading 80mph, I felt as if I wasn't moving at all... almost as in a bad dream.

I thought a 5hr drive would be a great opportunity to relax and dream. I figured I would listen to some good old country music and chill out... but I never got to do that. For some reason, I couldn't relax. I kept struggling with the wind, trying to stay focused on the road... and just wondering what awaited for us in Tucson. I began thinking about the Peace of Art project, how it started, how we have come along, the response of the audience on both sides of the border, the friendships and people we have come across. I wondered if anybody cared.. I wondered if any the work and effort put into this project mattered.

Before I knew it we were already in Tucson trying to find our way to the gallery. It was exciting. We got to the hotel and after encountering some problems, we managed to get to the gallery and set up. The place was a gallery/cafe adjacent to the university. Later that evening, there would be a mixer for the movie, "8 Murders a Day" by Charlie Minn. We set up the artwork in the second floor and went back to the hotel to get ready.

8 pm came and we were at the gallery mingleing with people interested to know about the movie and the exhibit. I met some interesting people including the gallery director, the gallery owner and the "8 Murders a Day" director, Charlie Minn. I asked him a few questions, since, I had not seen the documentary. We talked yet, I couldn't understand where Minn was coming from. I needed to see the movie.

So more people and some media attended the mixer and exhibit. People spoke of the Border Violence situation. Most of the people who were there were from Mexico, living in the states.I asked them what their thoughts were on the violence, on the movie, on the artwork. They felt it was important to create awareness, to speak out. They were grateful that somebody is out there doing something. But they didn't think this would stop the violence. I asked if there was any hope. Their answer was silence.

Minn showed a trailer of the documentary in the first floor where there were college students smoking Hookah. Minn introduced his trailer as the students ignored and went about their business. Then, as the trailer played, many of these students began to pay attention. Then Minn finished it up and my fellow Peace of Art organizer, Richard Luna, said a few words about Peace of Art. We encouraged the people to get up and see the exhibit. We were ignored. No one got up... they simply looked away. I was a bit shaken up.

These students do not care... they cared more about their hookah pipes or their latte... I wondered why these people did not care when they are relatively close to a border themselves. So much went through my mind as I stood there staring angrily at these students. Judging them for not caring.

As I went to bed, I prayed and asked God what had happened there. I felt as if nothing had been accomplished and so I needed an answer. The word patience kept coming to me.

[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy. -- Colossians 1:11

I felt just like when I was driving against the wind...it felt as if nothing was happening... I wasn't moving forward. And then it hit me... Showing the exhibit anywhere does make a difference. Even if one person sees it, we have planted a seed of consciousness. Slowly but surely, the word is getting out there and before we know it... we will have arrived. It also made me realize that since people do not know about it and in fact, don't care... it is extremely important to keep going... and to continue with the Peace of Art Project.

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