Peace Mosaic Makes Statement in Salem
There was a dedication of the Salem Peace Mosaic mural on Saturday August 13. The mosaic has been installed on the front wall of the Marion County YMCA building in downtown Salem, across from the state capitol building. It was a very festive event including local musicians, words of inspiration from the resident artist who has overseen the project, volunteer students from West Salem high school, the former mayor of Salem and the CEO of the YMCA. There were sing-alongs and peace dances. Some of the featured artists included Alma Latina, a local Latino band, poetry readings and tap dancing by Carl Massey.
This is a community art project in every sense of the word. Over 600 volunteers from ages 2 to 85 have been part of the creation of this project. Even the children at the “Y”s preschool program fashioned ceramic leaves and water stones that are part of the 43’ mural that captures all of the creation for which we are all stewards. Oregon’s poet laureate, Paulann Peterson, composed a poem for mosaic that flows along the river that runs through the piece. The poem focuses on Salem meaning peace coming from the same root as Salaam and Shalom.
There were many financial contributors as well including United Methodist Churches in the Salem area and an Oregon- Idaho conference Peace with Justice grant. Overall, more than a 100 contributing individuals and organizations contributed financial gifts.
Retired Elder Paul Larue was an active member of the committee that oversaw the project and was asked to provide a closing blessing along with Miguel Loredo Reyes.
The coming together in a common purpose, promoted peace and understanding among diverse generations, races and cultures.