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News Detail

Downtown Art Gallery Debuts Vietnamese Children's Artwork

Posted Aug. 13, 2010

Kent State University's Downtown Art Gallery and Wick Poetry Center, in collaboration with Soldier's Heart, the veterans' support organization based in Albany, N.Y., proudly present a soon-to-be internationally acclaimed exhibit. 

Speak Peace Artwork Speak Peace: American Voices Respond to Vietnamese Children's Paintings, the Vietnamese Children's Art Exhibit, in partnership with Vietnam's War Remnants Museum will debut in the United States at Kent State's Downtown Gallery on Sept. 1, 2010. A free and open-to-the-public reception will take place on Thursday, Sept. 16, from 5 until 8 p.m. The exhibition also is sponsored in part by the Kent State University Honors College. 

Speak Peace will pair Vietnamese children's paintings of peace and war with poetry written by American children, veterans and poets in response to those images. A collaborative, international art project, Speak Peace encourages creative dialogue between image and world, fostering cross-cultural understanding and reconciliation. Speak Peace features original poems written by American children, veterans and established poets in response to Vietnamese children's paintings of peace and war collected by the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. As a traveling art exhibit, Speak Peace will tour nationally for two to three years and then return to the U.K., and finally the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A project website (to be launched in September 2010) will offer free curricula and serve as an archive for new poems and reflections written by children, veterans and community members around the country in response to the exhibit. 

''This exhibit will showcase the visions of Vietnamese children and the power of poetry to promote healing and reconciliation,'' said Anderson Turner, director of galleries for Kent State. ''This international collaborative project offers a timely testament to the emotional truth of war and peace.''

Speak Peace Artwork From Kent State's Downtown Gallery, the exhibit will be featured at the 2010 International Peace and War Summit at Case Western Reserve University in October 2010, then travel nationally. The exhibit is sponsored by the National Peace Academy, Writers in the Schools Alliance, England's National Association for Writers in Education, and the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University. 

Images of the children's drawings and paintings are now available at, where they can be easily accessed, shared, and even projected on a classroom screen.  

The Downtown Gallery, located at 141 E. Main Street in downtown Kent, Ohio, is open Wednesdays through Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 330-676-1549 or visit

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Media Note:
Images of the Students Artwork are available by contacting Effie Tsengas.

Media Contacts:
Anderson Turner,, 330-672-1369
Effie Tsengas,, 330-672-8398