EMC Ottawa Article: Cold War museum to celebrate peace; Barrhaven artist explores theme of breaking barriers


August 21, 2014

Jennifer Mcintosh, Metroland

Sandy Woods, a mixed media artist from Barrhaven, is pictured with Rohini Bhalla, president of One World Dialogue, and her painting Perseverance. Woods will have four pieces in an upcoming exhibit at the Diefenbunker museum called Breaking Barriers.

Ottawa East News

By Jennifer Mcintosh

Local artists and youth will come together to talk about peace at Canada's cold war museum on Sept. 20.

For the fourth year, an organization called One World Dialogue, which seeks to discuss peace through artists and interpretative means, will hold an art exhibit.

The organization has partnered with the Diefenbunker and will showcase the work of six artists and local children in the Bank of Canada vault.

This year's theme is breaking barriers, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Rohini Bhalla, president of One World Dialogue, said the partnership was named a finalist in last year's Tourism Ottawa awards.

"There's something really poignant in talking about peace in a building that was designed to hold the country's gold reserves in the case of a nuclear attack," she said, adding the exhibit will run until the end of January 2015.

Sandy Woods, a Barrhaven-based mixed media artist, has been working with One World Dialogue for the last four years.

As part of her work, she went to Manotick Public School to help a Grade 4/5 class work on a one-by-twometre panel, depicting the fall of the wall, and working on the breaking barriers theme.

Woods' four artworks for the show are entitled Courage, Perseverance, Acceptance and Harmony. Bhalla said One World intentionally gave the artists a lot of leeway with the theme to foster the conversation about peace.

Aside from the students at Manotick Public School, Bhalla said organizers also worked with children at Odawa Native Friendship Centre and Minwaashin Lodge and developmentally delayed kids from the YWYMCA.

"We wanted to show different perspectives," she said. Woods said her experience with the kids in Manotick was interesting because the kids took gave it a lot of thought and had an interesting perspective on the topic.

"Parents often think their kids won't have anything to say about peace, but they often have a lot of input," Bhalla said, adding the school's character education curriculum that talks about respect and bullying ties in well with the peace theme.

The exhibit will open with a vernissage and performance on Sept. 20 at 2 p.m.


Note: Correction - we worked with the Taggart Family YW-YMCA with kids ages 3-12 in the summer camp programs, as well as, H'Art of Ottawa and the CHEO School.