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Janeil
Engelstad

Projects & Exhibitions

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peace room / make room for peace © Janeil Engelstad, 2002, mixed media, installation view, All Rights Reserved

peace room / make room for peace © Janeil Engelstad, 2002, mixed media, installation view, All Rights Reserved

Project and Exhibition at Lill Street Gallery and at I.D. Chicago, Il

Graphic design assistance Kate Davis

Construction of table and benches Alan Lerner

Photography assistance Pamela Miller

Funded in part by a grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency

peace room/make room for peace began with a questionnaire that I developed and distributed throughout the world to learn what people thought about peace. The participants were from different age groups, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. 

The overwhelming response to the survey was that peace begins within each one of us. This moved me to examine my own inner peace, which manifested in photographs and text.  Reflecting on how people often gather at the table to resolve conflict, the work evolved into dinner and glassware and a table and benches. The exhibition space included a place where audience members could fill out the surveys or create their own image of peace. These contributions to the project, along with the initial surveys, were put into notebooks that were displayed in the gallery throughout the exhibition period.

A review in the Chicago Tribune invited readers to design a plate that documented their own vision of peace. Over 400 people submitted designs that were reviewed by a panel made up of Tribune staff members, a community peace advocate, and myself. We selected several entries that were published in a subsequent feature article in the paper.