ArtPrize artist spreads message of peace during divisive times

ArtPrize Nine: Play for Peace

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- We live in divisive times. People living in the United States today are struggling to come together.

An ArtPrize artist from Chicago is trying to do his part to help, by offering an entry that depicts children at play.

"I think there's a child somewhere in all of us," said Jeffrey Breslow, who is participating in ArtPrize for a second consecutive year. 

Breslow's piece is currently installed in the reflection pond at the Gerald Ford Museum. It's entitled, "Play for Peace", and it features silhouettes of children on a merry-go-round, that's water-powered. As it turns slowly, the children get splashed.

"If we learn to get along as children, there will be harmony in the word when we grow up," added Breslow. "We live in some very angry times today; people are very upset about politics, religion and country, and we know about it every day because we have devices in our pockets that let us know what's going on all the time."

The rainbow colors Breslow used on the piece represent people of every color.

"You don't decide at 2 or 3 years old that you hate another racial group, or another religious or cultural group," said Breslow. "Little kids are color blind, and they can play with kids of any color, and that's important."

Breslow has a unique take on play. The 74-year-old is not only an established artist and sculptor, he is also well established in the toy and game industry as a game inventor. 

"For 41 years, I showed ideas to manufacturers, Mattel, Hasbro, Fisher Price and many others," said Breslow. "They licensed the ideas and pitched the retailers who then sold to consumers."

Breslow hopes when people check out his ArtPrize piece, they get the message that's behind it.

"Adulthood is overrated," Breslow joked. "Play for Peace is my very small attempt to try to hopefully create change."

After ArtPrize, Breslow will take Play for Peace back to his hometown of Chicago, Illinois where it will be on display at ChiTag - North America's largest annual non-hobby consumer toy and game fair, which happens November 16-19. After that, he hopes the piece will find a home at a children's hospital somewhere in the United States.

 

 

 

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