REFLECTIONS OF PEACE, 2011
Led by Diana Gilon at Wheaton College, Acrylic on canvas 4ft x 7ft
This mural was hosted by students and staff involved in the SSSR (Service, Spirituality, and Social Responsibility) department of Wheaton College. The mural was created publicly in the Balfore Hood building with participation from a large, diverse group of students. The participants shared with each other how they do or don’t identify culturally and spiritually as they painted the symbolism that often defines the faiths and cultures on campus. Students discussed and challenged the importance of cultural identity and shared personal experiences with each other. The concepts behind the design of this piece came to fruition at a final planning meeting with students and faculty. Their unique, complex take on how they visualize a peaceful community directly translated into the final design. The infinity symbol running through the mural was chosen as it represents a continuation or cycle of Peace (the doves represent the Peace aspect) that the participants hope for. The broken, moving, infinity symbol represents the idea that Peace is not a perfect, easy concept. It is fragile and changing and in constant need of effort to exist. The religious symbols throughout the work represent the different faiths at Wheaton. These symbols are connected in the mural and intertwine with the infinity to symbolize the unity and strength of a multi-faith, multicultural community.