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Guam Children express “My Dream of Peace Is . . .” in a moving intro to “Artists as Peacemakers” Opening

The masterpieces of elementary school students provided one of the major highlights as Guam welcomed ICAP’s “Artists as Peacemakers” exhibition, January 15–18.

The office of Louise Rivera — mayor of Guam’s Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon municpality — and the local ICAP organization organized a “My Dream of Peace Is . . .” art contest for the ambitious young artists in conjunction with the exhibition opening.

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Some 26 elementary schools on Guam were invited and provided with a total of 5,500 sheets of 11”x17” paper after the project was green-lighted by the Superintendent of Education of the Guam Public School System.

In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the first international peace conference, conducted on Guam by Daisaku Ikeda, in January 1975, the committee arranged for “Artists as Peacemakers” to be displayed at the Guam Premium Outlet.

To get the community involved and bring awareness to the exhibit, an elementary school art contest was suggested. Keying off the “Artists as Peacemakers” title, the youth involved came up with the contest theme, “My Dream of Peace Is . . .” While not professional artists, the children took on the challenge of expressing their dream of peace and how it might play out in the future.

dsc_2188In the end, 12 of the 26 schools contributed entries into the art contest, resulting in 457 total submissions.

Monetary prizes were awarded to three winners in each of two age brackets — kindergarten through 3rd grade, and 4th and 5th grades combined. Patrick Salas, one of the judges said, “Winners were based on how much impact both the message and art affected us.”

On January 18, at the third annual Latte Peace Festival, Vice Mayor Ken Santos and Therese Quichocho, administrative assistant to the mayor, announced the winners as follows:

Kindergarten through 3rd grade —

1st Place — Kwinn Rios, 3rd grade, Liguan Elementary School

2nd Place — Kirstyn Chargualaf – 2nd grade, Merizo Elementary School

3rd Place — Aubrey Guerrero, 2nd grade, Tamuning Elementary School

4th and 5th grade —

1st Place — Annalynn Ray Alieto, 4th Grade, Baltazar P. Carbullido Elementary School

2nd Place — Amiah Borja, 5th grade, Finegayan Elementary School

3rd Place — Elijah Santos, 5th grade, Tamuning Elementary School

Commenting on the artworks, local ICAP representative Herman Agustin said: “I was truly inspired by some of the drawings that I saw . . . Their message was loud and clear [as witnessed] by statements like “My Dream for Peace is no more War” or “. . . a happy family where everyone gets along.”

Kathy Alegria, another local ICAP rep said, “Each artwork is a simple, yet strong message of how we all desire peace, even young children.”

ICAP expresses its gratitude to the twelve elementary schools who participated for the art contest: Tamuning, Chief Brodie, Liguan, Agana, Maria Ulloa, Wettengel, Merizo, Ordot, Carbullido, Finegayan, Astumbo and Adacao. Deep appreciation also goes to local ICAP representative planners Kathy Alegria, Herman Agustin, Johnny Salas and Patrick Salas.

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