Works by a handful of artists represented in the international exhibition "The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama," including Richard Avedon and Chuck Close, are being featured in a preview exhibit this week at SPUR Projects gallery in Portola Valley.
The full exhibition of 88 artists' works, sponsored by the nonprofit Palo Alto-based Dalai Lama Foundation, officially opens its international tour next month in Los Angeles. But in the spirit of the axiom, "Peace begins at home," the foundation decided to begin the tour in its own back yard with the SPUR preview.
The weeklong showing includes a fundraising event and exclusive viewing this Friday. Several artists featured in the preview will be present.
The artwork previewed in the exhibit, all of which were donated, are for sale, and the proceeds will benefit The Missing Peace Project.
The Dalai Lama Foundation invited artists to create portraits of the Dalai Lama without giving any direction regarding size, media or interpretation of "portrait."
Darlene Markovich, the foundation's president and one of the project's organizers, explains that the project resulted from "the responsibility [that] is ours to become co-creators of a better world."
The full Missing Peace Project includes a range of media, and the multimedia preview reflects this, featuring works from photographs, paintings and tapestries to installation pieces.
An example is "Impermanence: the Time of Man," an installation piece by David and Hi-Jin Hodge of Half Moon Bay. The artists interviewed more than 120 people on the subject of impermanence, and the interviews are presented on video iPods, mounted in a circle.
The interviews run in different orders and timings — a cacophony of voices that forces you to focus on one iPod, on one person, to make sense of the message.
You can walk around the circle, picking up bits and pieces of meditations on change, and they inexplicitly cohere: "Collectively," one voice begins, "we can make it a more peaceful world," another continues.
A final voice chimes in, "Contribute to change," summing up the sentiment that has driven the entire project.
The Missing Peace Project preview runs from Tuesday, May 2, through Saturday, May 6; 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; SPUR Projects, 888 Portola Road, Portola Valley; 529-2040; www.SpurProjects.com. The fundraising event is Friday, May 5, 6-9 p.m.
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