Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann, left, was among those who dedicated the Vista Peace Pole in a ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. The peace pole carries the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in eight different languages.
In a perfect world, peace would be a sort of universal language. And as we strive for that more perfect tomorrow, the words of peace are now set to ring out in Columbia’s Vista district, through a new public art installation. On Tuesday, city officials and local residents dedicated the Vista Peace Pole on Senate Street, between Lincoln and Park streets, near the University of South Carolina Alumni Center. Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann was among those who participated in a ceremony dedicating the peace pole. Artist Eileen Blyth created the public art piece, which was funded by a number of private donors. The placement of the pole was facilitated by One Columbia for Arts and Culture, the city-backed arts boosting nonprofit that has helped place a host of public arts pieces in the
As noted by a permanent marker at the site of the new Vista art installation, peace poles began as part of a Japanese peace movement after the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. There are now more than 200,000 peace poles across the world, which extol the ideas of peace, hope and action. The Vista Peace Pole is a steel sculpture from which a large bell hangs. Each side of the sculpture is adorned with the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” The message is written in eight languages: Japanese, English, Gullah, Hindi, Catawba, Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish.
During Tuesday’s ceremony, eight guests read the message in each of the languages, and each rang the bell to advocate for peace. One Columbia Executive Director Lee Snelgrove noted a host of groups that advocate for peace had input into the Vista Peace Pole process through the Columbia Peace Pole Initiative. He also noted the new sculpture is near a number of other public art pieces in the Vista, which has become a hub for such work.
“The Columbia Peace Pole Initiative involved a lot of people, and we had many languages to go through and make sure they were all right,” Snelgrove said. “It’s a pleasure to have this one finished in this space. It is a perfect spot for it, in the Vista, and adds to the Vista’s public art collection. … It is right here in the heart of Columbia, visible to the State House, showcasing the important things of Columbia and what we recognize: art, peace and community.”
Lori Donath, a member of the Columbia Peace Pole Initiative committee, reflected on the messages of the Vista installation. “The eight languages on this peace pole — Japanese, English, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Spanish, Gullah and Catawba — represent and honor the diversity of our local population and traditions,” Donath said. “They are the languages of nation states, they are the languages of religious affiliations, they are the languages of people around the world and in our community who aspire to a better life.”
The State Newspaper https://www.thestate.com/news/local/article257220573.html