Design4peace is a website showcasing peace and justice posters, created by Leslie Dwyer, artist and worker bee. It is a small project aimed at countering the intrusive images and words we receive every day supporting an unjust and violent system. Let the posters remind us of what is most important. Use them to stimulate discussions. Look at them to sustain your commitments. Stay tuned for the design4peace store which will be open sometime in Fall 2018.
When I was a child growing up in the Catskill Mountains, I would walk to my father’s office at Western Union after school to hang out until he closed for the day. It was a precious time for me. Most special was standing on a chair to reach the counter where my father worked with his customers. They came in with all kinds of messages –the celebrations of love, marriage, birth, and birthday; the pain of illness, loss, and death; arrangements made, changed, and broken. I watched as my kind father helped sad, jubilant, concerned, and excited people hone down or reword their urgent messages to both relay what was vital and cut down on (pay-by-the word) words. At a time when I was beginning my journey in literacy, seeing the power of words, particularly my father’s words, gracefully handle the events of life was, itself, a life-forming event.
I grew up. I got involved in movements for social change during the 1960s and 1970s. I became a first-grade bilingual teacher, an adult ed ESL teacher, a teacher’s teacher. I got a Ph.D. from UCLA in International and Comparative Education. While doing that work, I began to doodle. What was first a distraction and release, became a passion and necessity. I doodled until I called it drawing, and then taught myself computer graphics. My training as a radical intellectual converged with my desire to be an artist. So, here I am with my design4peace project. I draw on my commitment to movements for change, my experience as an educator, my love of image, and on those moments with my father when I learned about compassion, urgency, and the power of simple messages.
Thank you. Please go to the contact page if you’d like to send feedback, or have questions.