The Painting for Peace
I walked into my Art class with my binder in hand and took my usual seat. My teacher had said last class that we’d be starting a new Art project, and it’d be our biggest assignment of the year. So I sat at my desk, anxiously waiting for what she had in store for us for the next few weeks.
It turned out our new project was called the Painting for Social Change assignment. We had to pick a recurring problem in our world that we felt strongly about and create a painting on its impact against humanity.
Once my Art teacher disclosed all the information on our project, I began to think. There were so many global problems that I was passionate about. There was poverty, war, politics— the list went on!
Yet as I let my mind wander, I discovered that I couldn’t paint any of those issues in the way I’d like to. If I was going to pick a large problem in our world, I wanted to serve it justice on my canvas.
I pondered some more until it came to me.
Racism, my conscious told me. Do a painting on the racism that’s been going on in our world. I had come up with an idea and I intended to stick with it.
The next few days were spent collecting images for my painting and finding a good message to convey. I wanted to show the racism that was currently happening, then have some quote or phrase to tell my classmates that we can all come together and promote peace.
The only problem was that I didn’t have anything.
As I was gluing some more printed pictures onto my canvas, my mind went back to one of the days during Black History Month. We had sung Oh Canada, prayed, then the announcements came on. There was something that one of the announcers had closed off with on the intercom. The person had said that there was only one race and that was the human race.
Suddenly, the last piece of the puzzle came to me and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
The time to reveal our paintings arrived and I lifted mine up with trembling fingers. My entire class stared at it either in curiosity or in awe. I looked back at each of my classmates with a small smile on my face.
I didn’t know whether or not my painting had an effect on all 27 of the people in my class. However, I knew that all I really needed to do was change the perspective of one of them, and show that person the peace that isn’t far away if we reach for it.
My painting could go on to change an entire school population, or maybe just a few people.
But those few people could go on to change the entire world. I glanced at my class one more time, and with that fact in mind, I smiled all the more brightly.
By: Shauna Ndoping.