Here are the remarks made by Holly Adams, representing GVCP at the Opening Reception of the Arts Council’s Annual Members’ Exhibition on February 15th. The award was presented to Gerald Alonzo for his piece entitled “One Less Gun.”
Arnie Matlin for GVCP
Good evening everyone. I’m Holly Adams. I am speaking on behalf of the Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace.
GVCP has been in existence for 45 years, and is proudly affiliated with Peace Action New York State,
along with our sister group, SUNY Geneseo Student Peace Action. We are very grateful for this
opportunity to work collaboratively with the Arts Council.
We are excited and thrilled to award the very first annual Paula Henry Peace Award, in honor of our friend, artist, and fellow peace activist, Paula Henry. Paula was a member of GVCP for 40 years. With GVCP, Paula envisioned world peace, and strove to create a world that did not include war and weapons, especially nuclear weapons.
Peace does not occur spontaneously. It must be created. Art is a perfect medium for promoting peace, because art allows discussion of all topics. Art pushes us to consider alternative ways of seeing and doing things. With the Doomsday Clock now standing at two minutes to midnight, truly, now, more than any time in history, peace needs to become part of our ongoing conversations and actions in the most urgent way. The winds of change have put the world on a dangerous trajectory.
Paula Henry was a true artist, and a seeker. She sought to express her love of the world through her sculpture. She was an active member artist here at the Arts Council. She was a seeker of knowledge, and this made her an excellent researcher, as Acquisitions Librarian at SUNY Geneseo for over 25 years, as well as right here in the New Deal gallery, researching the New Deal artists over a span of years. Paula was both soft spoken and sharp witted. Paula was a seeker of a better world. She sought a better world through her art and her involvement and activism with the Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace. To make a better world, one must be like Paula, and imagine a better world–then go out and work to try to bring that world into being.
This award exists to honor Paula, who we miss, and to promote and uplift others like her, who imagine a better world.
Great thanks and gratitude to all the wonderful artists who rose to this challenge and created beautiful, thoughtful pieces about peace. The judges faced a tough decision.
We are pleased and honored to present this award to Jerry Alonzo.