Contemplating Peace – A Recap

Contemplating Peace was an important event for Youngblood Art Studio. We gathered together as a community and validated the efforts of people taking the time to be peaceful. We encouraged not only our artists, but everybody to stop and take the time to look at the world around us.

I hope everybody that took the time to look remembered and noticed a few things.

I will take the time here to point out a few things you might have missed. Aside from myself, we had two artists, both men. These two men had very different lives. Michael Heufelder has lived a life of military service, demanding extreme focus vigilance, structure and courage. Gomer Pyles has had a less structured life of foot travel, exploration, acceptance and discovery, also courage.

The show was set up so that each man had three walls and they met on each side. Thus, the two met at mutual chair series pictures. Each had taken pictures of chairs. They ended meeting again at sunsets as each had taken many pictures of them.

For me, the chairs reflect a place to sit and think or stop and be. The sunsets reflect the universal light that we all relate to.

I felt that the images were ones that we could all recognize as peace. They are there for each of us regardless of our politics and personal beliefs. We share commonalities that are profoundly similar.

While Gomer has lived the life of a free spirit, his father earned a couple of purple hearts in WWII, one of which is beautifully displayed in two joined hands carved in Driftwood by Gomer. He also traveled on foot from LA. to the east coast with his partner and their baby 30 years ago, with faith in his heart, that things would work out. Tremendous courage.

Michael, who was in special forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for 7 years in the front line of duty, helped to rebuild Turkish villages, has been in the midst of hell on earth and experienced what many never recover from. His ability to survive and rise above the crowd is astonishing, and he has the wisdom to know that he now needs to heal. Part of that healing is capturing peaceful moments with his iPhone. He takes the time to stop, look and be. He also focuses for hours doing his wood burnings of animals.

A Place To Be was well represented during the event by Kim Tapper, Tom Sweitzer, some of the kids who enjoy and mentor, as well as some of the board members of A Place To Be.

The Contemplating Peace event was a big success. As usual we had a nice crowd of over 100 people, representing many aspects of our community. People seem to love the arts and hopefully we all left YAS inspired and awake, observing the world around ourselves and taking time for introspection, sharing and supporting one another's quest for peace.

The show had a great energy and there were continous sales throughout the evening. The proceeds of the show support A Place To Be. We were thrilled to have some of the kids, parents, board members and leaders of APTB present at the event, including opening remarks by Tom Sweitzer.

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Comtemplating Peace, Michael Heufelder
Comtemplating Peace, Michael Heufelder

Youngblood Art Studio

6480 Main Street
The Plains, Virginia 20198
(540) 270-0402

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