On Saturday, August 20th, Omniware Networks and the World Association of Young Artists jointly hosted a Peace Love Unity exhibit at the Milpitas Library.
The exhibit was partly funded through a County of Santa Clara Division of Equity and Social Justice grant. This grant gave up to $2,500 to individuals, groups, and organizations dedicated to supporting those affected by hate.
With the money, Omniware Networks was able to host an art contest open to all Santa Clara County students, ranging from Kindergarten through 12th grade. This competition was created to encourage the students to express their feelings against hate. Once the competition ended, the art was showcased throughout Santa Clara county, including at the Milpitas Library.
The exhibit’s theme of “Peace Love Unity” was started due to “so much unpleasant tension between people,” according to Judy Xu, the exhibit’s organizer. She stated that they wanted a way for children to express what the theme meant to them.
All of the artists were between the ages of 5 and 17, and there were over 90 pieces of art displayed to the community at the Milpitas Library. “Our students all worked very hard,” stated Emma Zhou, one of the art teachers, as well as a volunteer for the exhibit and a winner of its Presidential Volunteer Service Gold Award.
One of the participants, seventeen-year-old Helen Ren, said that using art “helps children to express themselves and gives them a platform for expressing.”
There were also representatives from the City of Milpitas, including Jamie Hekkelmen, a commissioner for the City of Milpitas Arts Commission, who stated that Milpitas has chosen to support the event because “Our world is not in its most united and peaceful moment.” She further said, “That was able to be expressed on these walls in so many different moments.”
A total of four volunteers won the Presidential Volunteer Gold Service Award. They were Yun Hua Fang, Emma Zhou, Diane Wong, and Angela Zhou. In regard to winning the award, Emma Zhou said that she feels “really great” about it. She added, “I want to give a thank you to the Milpitas government for giving us this opportunity.”
The next exhibition for “Peace Love Unity” will take place at the Los Altos History Museum.