International Peace Flag Tour Comes to Jamestown

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Artist Joseph Lawrence Vasile, founder of ‘Peace Flags in the Wind'.
Artist Joseph Lawrence Vasile, founder of ‘Peace Flags in the Wind'.
Artist Joseph Lawrence Vasile, founder of ‘Peace Flags in the Wind’.

Article Contributed by
Jamestown Gazette Staff

Jamestown’s Mayor Samuel Teresi officially declared June 22 through 24 in recognition of ‘Peace Flags in the Wind’ days on Friday, June 24, 2016. Artist Joseph Lawrence Vasile brought his international traveling art installation to Jamestown, New York in conjunction with “Hidden Klown”, a Lucy” painting donated to the Lucy-Desi Museum by the former New York-New Jersey resident who now lives and teaches art in Myanmar (formerly Burma).

In the first year of Vasile’s international tour, his “One man’s vision for peace, one flag at a time” concept has reached and inspired tens of thousands of people across six continents, from Hong Kong to Pennsylvania and from Viet Nam to Canada and now includes the work of more than 12,000 participants. Vasile is working towards the Guinness Book of World Records for the “World’s Largest Hand Painted Peace Flag”.

Vasile’s mission was first inspired by Tibetan prayer flags whose prayers for peace, good will and compassion are meant to be blown by the wind out into the world. He said, “‘Peace Flags in the Wind’ is an international traveling art installation that uses art as a catalyst to bring peace, happiness and oneness into the world by asking the public to express their individuality and visions for their paths to peace. I simply ask people, ‘What makes you happy?’ and then we include that in our project.”

The international traveling art installation began when Vasile taught in a Title 1 public school serving a disadvantaged neighborhood in Miami six years ago. “I saw art and music transform students’ lives there,” Vasile said. “We discovered the life-changing power of art of all kinds.”

In Jamestown last week, Vasile created a Peace Flag workshop with the interns at the Lucy-Desi Museum, unveiled and donated his new ‘Lucy’ painting titled “Hidden Klown” to the Museum. It was accompanied by his framed, previously published ‘Lucy’ art along with a framed copy of the Proclamation signed by Jamestown Mayor Teresi.

The peace flags created in Jamestown will be unveiled in Kenscoff Haiti in July 2016 at COHEF summer camp.

The first artwork Vasile published at the age of 19, a ‘Lucy’ painting, was seen in the Manhattan Mirror. In 2001, he donated the original painting to the Lucy-Desi Museum to share it with the thousands of Lucy fans who visit Jamestown every year. His current visit to Jamestown, he said, “completes a wonderful circle” in the life of his art.

Jamestown Gazette readers are invited to visit Vasile’s Facebook page, Peace Flags in the Wind, to see the flags and follow his work around the world.