Harnesses the transformative power of art to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of world cities to foster beauty, understanding and peace.
A critical part of our mission is to foster global peace. The curriculum at EFIAF’s Peace Education uses the visual arts and an interdisciplinary approach to build global understanding. It teaches leadership and cultural diplomacy and provides concepts, language and experience to counter all forms of intolerance and develop a capacity for conflict resolution, reconciliation, and community building.
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Baghdad: City of Peace, Truly from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
22-karat gold leaf, 231⁄2-karat red gold, palladium leaf, mica, egg tempera on Belgian linen (69 x 104 in.) 2005
The layers of Baghdad: City of Peace, Truly chase more than 5,000 years of splendid, then destroyed grandeur. From the cuneiform creation myth found in Iraq on a clay tablet dating to 3000 B.C. to the aerial photograph of Baghdad (1925), the painting honors Baghdad as emerging from the Cradle of Civilization, Baghdad the Round City (762 AD), and Baghdad the site of Islamic architectural achievement.
Hiroshima: Winter Bloom from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
22-karat moon gold, 12-karat white gold, egg tempera on Belgian linen (69 x 104 in.) 2005
In Hiroshima: Winter Bloom, the symbolic winter-blooming plum blossom cascades across the once secret “Pre-Attack Mosaic” photograph of Hiroshima taken by U.S. military aerial reconnaissance in April 1945. Grace and hope ride the wind as it sweeps the plum blossom across our memories.
Jerusalem: A Painting Toward Peace from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
22-karat gold leaf and egg tempera on Belgian linen. (69" X 104") 2004
Peopled with hundreds of tiny figures aspiring to joyous, free lives, a view of Jerusalem−its Golden Gate, synagogues, mosques, churches and minarets−shimmers across the vista. The painting’s gold-leaf border celebrates peace: between flowers from historic Islam appears the traditional six-sided star common to Islamic art, a symbol that from the Middle Ages is known as The Star of David.
Lhasa: 10 Directions from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
22-karat gold leaf, egg tempera on Belgian linen (69 x 104 in.) 2005
Framed by two gold-leaf pillars inspired by columns at the Jokhang monastery, the painting uses mudras (sacred hand positions thought to be more powerful than the spoken word) as border patterns. The words of a sixth-century poet cascade to the Lhasa skyline, just as the Bon myth describes the first Tibetans climbing down rainbow stairs from the sky to mountaintops.
Monrovia: In Constellation from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
Palladium and moon gold, Aquarelle on Belgian linen. (69 x 104 in.) 2007
We honor the inspiring resilience of the Liberian people, hoping that Monrovia: In Constellation will herald a renewed harmony within the Liberian capital. A map (circa 1849) grounds the night’s stars, exactly as they shone on Liberian Independence Day, July 26, 1847 at 10:00 P.M.
Sarajevo: Here from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
22-karat gold leaf, palladium, moon, and copper leaf, egg tempera on Belgian linen. (69 x 104 in.) 2007
Sarajevo: Here celebrates the great cultural heritage of Sarajevo as pages of imagined illuminated manuscripts: within the painting’s gold-illuminated borders is tucked the red-tile-roofed city itself, with its mosques and minarets, its spires, symbols, and languages. In the wake of the largest intentional book burning and the longest military siege in modern history,Sarajevo: Here cherishes the people of Sarajevo, their spirit convivencia!, and their art, in its own small act of benefaction.
Yerevan: To Know Wisdom from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
22 karat, red, champagne, green, and Caplain gold leaf on archival Arches Velvet
Yerevan: To Know Wisdom celebrates Armenian ancient history, its multilayered culture, unique symbolism and, most of all, the Armenian alphabet with the first sentence ever written in it: To know wisdom and guidance; to perceive the words of insight (Solomon, Book of Proverbs 1:2). Yerevan: To Know Wisdom repeats the alphabet 42 times, one line for each letter. The audience joins the Armenians in viewing language as puzzle, as meditation, as sacred, blinking
Beijing: Heavenly Peace, on Earth! from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
22-karat gold leaf, 231⁄2-karat red gold, 12 karat white gold, 22 karat moon gold, mica and bronze powder, egg tempera on Belgian linen. (104" X 69") 2005
Beijing: Heavenly Peace, on Earth! celebrates Beijing as a sacred city, marking the sacred proportions of its city plan, its star pattern, and geographic site. The painting honors Beijing in dance, in costume, and in cityscape. With a north-south axis, setting the Forbidden City in the painting’s center, the work proclaims that this complex and magnificent ancient and modern city is the place where the heavens touch the earth, conferring majesty and light.
Kabul: I Love Her (for knowledge and love both come from her dust) from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
22-karat gold leaf, moon gold, egg tempera on Belgian linen (104 x 69 in.) 2005
In this work, gold-leaf micrography (text shaped into images) from a seventeenth-century poem illuminates the city, inspired by a panoramic photograph taken between 1870 and 1882. Celebrating Kabul, the verses walk a main city road—not as an invading army but as a march of words of love. Symbols of what was cherished by Afghans, then banned—dance, music, books, kites—are woven into the painting as if a pattern from a tribal carpet, an art form that helped to make Afghanistan renowned worldwide.
New York: This is My City! from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
22-karat gold leaf, palladium leaf, egg tempera on Belgian linen (104 x 69 in.) 2005
Bridges! to the island city of New York! carry dreams and dreamers. With bottoms of buildings bordering the painting’s top, tops bordering the bottom, the skyline of New York turns us around and around. Celebrating the city as a beacon of liberty, the painting honors its residents in concept and content. In how many languages can we say “New York is my city”?
Pristina: The Flowering from Cities of Peace Illuminated ®
22k gold leaf and palladium leaf on archival Arches Velvet
Pristina: The Flowering celebrates 8,000 years of vivid cultural history. Created with participation by students, artists, and scholars from all ethnicities and 38 municipalities, Pristina: The Flowering interweaves with the finest golden lines of filigree the past, present and future of this young and flowering city.
Turnings: Sparking Light from Cities of Peace Illuminated®
23k “H” gold and 23k red gold issuing from a black clay ground
Turnings: Sparking Light - In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Cities of Peace Illuminated® gratefully acknowledges the following organizations for providing art materials for projects: