Students plant Pinwheels for Peace at Rowan

Students plant Pinwheels for Peace at Rowan

By Jessica Driscoll

On Friday morning, students planted more than 750 pinwheels bearing messages of peace and hope on Rowan University's campus a powerful artistic expression to commemorate the International Day of Peace.

Pinwheels for Peace was created in 2005 by two Florida art teachers Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan. Last year, more than one million pinwheels spun in 2,350 locations throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

"Art can communicate in powerful ways," said Dr. Jane Graziano from Rowan's art department who coordinated the event.

"It's not a political statement because peace does not just have to be associated with war but also with tolerance, violence-prevention and peace of mind. It's a simple statement for which people of all ages can work together and involve the community."

Students from Rowan's art department participated in the planting as well as children from Olivet Elementary School in Pittsgrove and Caroline L. Reutter School in Franklinville. Art students constructed the pinwheels with written thoughts of war, peace, tolerance and harmony on one side and visual expressions of these feelings on the other.

This was Rowan's first year for Pinwheels of Peace, but Graziano hopes the tradition will continue and spread throughout the campus and community.

"We'd like to teach all ages about the importance of peace," she said. "These pinwheels may be toys on their own, but standing together for a purpose they become much more."

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Date Published: Saturday, September 22, 2007 - 01:00