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    Make Art Not War

    The Purpose of this Painting Contest and Artist Promotion

    Besides being a tourist community, Sedona, Arizona is proud of its identity as a “community animated by the arts.” That identity manifests itself through the many different forms of art expressed by the people who gather here. Besides painting, Sedona actively promotes all forms of visual arts, performing arts, film, and even culinary arts. Sedona is proud of its many talented residents’ accomplishments and is continually seeking opportunities to expand its commitment to the arts.

    Even more remarkable, however, Sedona is part of an international movement to promote world peace. As part of a United Nations global movement, it is proud to stand with more than 100 cities on five continents worldwide that have consciously chosen to become International Cities of Peace. The Sedona City of Peace promotes a culture of peace through events, projects, tours, and publications that seek to educate, raise consciousness, expand connections, and engage the community. The Sedona Arts Center, a place known for its legacy of art dedicated to peace and beauty in Sedona, is #7 among 18 stops along the Sedona Peace Tour. www.sedonainternationalcityofpeace.org/sedona-peace-tour

    To quote one the Sedona City of Peace founders: “We believe that a culture of peace is one that respects and connects our shared humanity and ignites a social spark to form new and inspired traditions and ideas that uphold the highest values of the human heart. To that end we envision Sedona as a place where people respect and listen to each other, celebrate the diversity of backgrounds, opinions and expressions, and come together to take action for the greater good of our community.”

    What better way to promote peace in the world than through the expression of art? Art knows no political boundaries and is the closest thing we have to a universal language; art is one of the few forces on earth with the power to connect people world wide regardless of culture or ethnicity.

    Victoria and I view the Sedona Art Prize painting competition as much more than just an art contest.  To us, it is another opportunity for Sedona’s role as an International City of Peace, and an extension of Sedona’s mission to promote peace and unity around the world.  As lofty as this may sound, we are committed to this ideal.  That is why half of all of the proceeds from the Sedona Art Prize go directly to the Sedona Arts Center to help fund their arts programs and further their goal to promote the visual arts.

     Make Art Not War logo sml

    "Make Art Not War"

    Furthering our desire to promote peace through art, we're adopting a new slogan, “Make Art Not War.”  A spin-off of the popular 60s term “make love not war,” it’s more than a message; it actually provides a solution for peace, replacing the destructive activity of “making war” with the creative and unifying activity to “make art,” and share it with the world. Make Art Not War becomes a mantra for people everywhere who envision a world where people come together by sharing a common interest that is creative, unifying, and uplifting.

    It is our hope that Make Art Not War spurs on an international movement with the goal to provide practical art education to people in developing countries who have no access to art or art supplies, thereby offering them a path out of poverty.  Victoria actually began a similar program two years ago when she lived in Belize.  She began an art education program for Belizean children, providing them with art kits and training.  The purpose was to eventually help them license their artwork to provide them with an ongoing stream of income.

    So, hopefully you now understand that to Victoria and I, this more than just an art contest. It is a vehicle to contribute to a worldwide movement of peace and unity.  Make Art, Not War. We will do this by promoting you and your artwork, a powerful message of unity and peace. — Tim Ernster

    INTRODUCING ART BY NESH TZIB, BELIZE, CENTRAL AMERICA

    Decorative plate by Nesh Tzib. Nesh is an artist from Belize, Central America, descended from Maya and Creole families. Growing up and even later as a farm worker, he had no access to art education or art supplies. After seeing a painting he did for his mother using leftover house paint and cool-aid to make the color yellow, we bought his supplies and commissioned him to create a set of bird plates. This is the first in a series, with 50% of proceeds used to continue to support Nesh and other talented artist like him. The world is a richer, more beautiful, and peaceful place when talented people have the opportunity to share their wonderful art with the world.

     

    The Purpose of the Gateway To Sedona Artist Competition / Make Art Not War

    To help talented people in countries where there is no art education or art supplies have the opportunity for an art career, to make a living through selling or licensing their art and design.

    ART FROM BELIZE, CENTRAL AMERICA

    Decorative plate by Nesh Tzib. Nesh is an artist from Belize, Central America, descended from Maya and Creole families. This is the first in a series, with 50% of proceeds used to continue to support Nesh and other talented artists like him. The world is a richer, more beautiful, and peaceful place when talented people have the opportunity to share their wonderful art with the world.

    First Collector Plates in a New Series - BIRDS OF BELIZE by Belizean artist Nesh Tzib

     
     

     

    BACKGROUND STORY - MY TIME IN BELIZE

    I lived in Belize, Central America, for 1 1/2 years. There, I learned there were no art classes in the local schools, and art supplies were either unavailable or totally out of reach due to cost. One day, I was shown a painting by a farmer (Nesh Tzib) who worked daily on the citrus orchard surrounding my home near Santa Elena (western Belize). It was amazing, of a peacock surrounded by roses. He had painted it for his mother after losing one eye as a teenager (due to a slingshot). He used housepaint and when he didn't have the color yellow available, he used cool-aid to make it. Very resourceful!

    Vic Oldham web

    Victoria (Vicky) Oldham paints a scarlet macaw during her time in Belize (oil on oil painting paper, 16" x 20"). See it up close here.

    I soon learned that some of the kids in the area were very talented as well. The idea formed: they needed art supplies and direction, and it would give them an opportunity in art that never existed before. I supplied Nesh with paints, canvas, brushes, and paid him to paint designs that could go on objects like plates... first, a series of Belize birds. I came up with art kits for the kids, and Nesh helped to guide some of them in their first projects, even though he has never had an art lesson himself.

    American and European tourists daily visit the Mayan ruins in Belize like Xunantunich (pronounced zoo-nan-too-nich, 10 minutes from my home in Belize) and on the way to the site, the place is crowded with Guatemalan crafts—no Belizean art. This shocked me, especially after learning that the local people show such an aptitude for art and design. Also, there is extreme poverty and lack of opportunity for most Belizean people. I wondered: could an opportunity in art make a difference? I said yes—I believe, a huge difference. This is why all net proceeds from the Gateway To Sedona portion of Sedona Art Prize will be used to fund more art from Nesh and other talented individuals who would otherwise be excluded from participation in the world of fine art. — Victoria Oldham