Within Minutes, An Artist Creates a Global Wave of Peace

Image: “Peace for Paris” by Jean Jullien

It is no coincidence that, in the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attack on Paris, the response heard round the world was one of an original work of art – an image of peaceful protest and compelling unity in the face of tragedy. It was an artist’s original sketch, connecting a peace symbol and the Eiffel Tower, that became a global symbol of peace that united people and countries around the world. It was the power of the silent message inherent in this drawing that provided people throughout the globe with a way to express their indescribable horror and grief.  French designer and illustrator Jean Jullien explains: “The first thing that came to me was the idea of peace, that we needed peace. It was done on my lap, on a very loose sketchbook, with a brush and ink.”  His image has been shared over 200,000 times on social media as of Monday. Jullien continues very simply,”things that need to spread, spread.”

And artists have been doing this since the beginning of humankind …reconciling the irreconcilable, communicating the unspeakable and empowering the individual while uniting society in one voice – be it through song, dance or paper and pencil. At a time when freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of speech are under fire, it is important to remember the words of President John F. Kennedy: “If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”

This Thanksgiving, ArtsWestchester stands in solidarity with artist Jean Jullien, and those who have found solace in sharing his art, with wishes of peace for our world. We share his artwork with you to underscore the value of the artist and of creative expression.  And, we ask that you continue to share your belief that the arts matter as well.

Let your elected officials know that arts matter to Westchester County by sending an email this week, asking them to RESTORE funding for ArtsWestchester in the 2016 County budget.

With appreciation and wishes of peace to you and your family this Thanksgiving,

Janet T. Langsam
CEO, ArtsWestchester

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