Peace is an internal wish of many during turbulent times around the world, and those hoping to get a glimpse of it have a chance with the opening of two exhibitions in Blacksburg and Roanoke.
The Armory Gallery at Virginia Tech and Taubman Museum of Art, located in Roanoke, Va., are hosting exhibitions by Japanese artist and peace activist Yoko Ono, wife of the late John Lennon.
While each gallery focuses on different themes, they are both in conjunction with Yoko Ono Imagine Peace: Featuring John and Yoko’s Year of Peace.
“The vision (of the exhibition) is that I am having a dialogue with all of you who are coming to that exhibition,” Ono said.
At the Armory Gallery, participants have the opportunity to view My Mommy is Beautiful, an interactive piece honoring mothers first presented in 2004.
“I just wanted to say to my mother that she was beautiful, she was sweet, and she was lovely, and she was nice to me… that stuff that I would’ve wanted to tell her in person,” Ono said.
Ono aimed to share that feeling with other women and recognize mothers worldwide whether alive or deceased. Viewers at the exhibit are provided with stationary to write a note to their mother and place it on a series of white walls.
The exhibition, which opened Tuesday, Sept. 10, has already received a positive response from students with “mommy messages” peppering the walls with words, such as selfless and sacrifice.
“It’s pretty cool to see people write about their parents and not take it sarcastically,” said Zack Berger, building construction major. “It’s neat to see what everyone has to say.”
In addition to reading the contributed cards, visitors can also enjoy Ono’s Cut Piece film from 1965 that documents her performance in Carnegie Hall.
At Taubman Museum of Art, viewers can see more of Ono's work beginning Saturday, Sept. 14.
Unique to the event, is the Imagine Peace exhibit that will have a variety of maps along with a rubber ‘Imagine Peace’ stamp for guests to stamp different regions.
They can also participate in Passages of Light, a documentary of Ono’s construction of the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland. Flashlights, known as onochords, will be distributed for visitors to communicate Morse code through light as a peace initiative.
“I asked her to perform this piece with the audience. What she does is she says this is onochord; it’s kind of like Morse code out of light,” said Kevin Concannon, director of the School of Visual Arts and coordinator of the event.
This, among other displays, carries the dominant theme in the exhibit - peace.
“We are all together," Ono said, "We can make the world into a beautiful world."