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2010 2d winner
Sarah Martin
First Prize, Category: 2 Dimensional

Artist Statement -

Peace is inextricably linked to collaboration and sweat and sacrifice. People surrender parts of themselves, like the ingredients to a balm, and the mediation between these ingredients synergizes into a force of will that is greater than the summation of its parts. It can't be achieved by one person alone. In Iraq, car bombers target voting stations, hoping to squash the foundations of peace. Al-Qaeda threatens to murder anyone who goes to vote. And still, one by one, Iraqis dip their fingertips in ink after casting a ballot, symbolically adding their small measure of hope to the mix: less than an inch of flesh, a smudge of faith, everyman's duty in the tip of a finger.

This piece is charcoal, graphite, and acrylic paint on paper. During the process of making Baquba, I noticed my own fingers turn black with charcoal dust. I wanted to document the marks so I laid out strips of packing tape and blotted the black stains from my hands. These layers of fingerprints and skin cells are then laid like a film over the work, a self-made membrane that documents an intimate sacrifice in order to create something larger, more complete.

2010 3d winner
JL Stewart Watson
First Prize, Category: 3 Dimensional
Sculpture - Bronze, Linen, Down Feathers

Artist Statement -

Even when opposing countries want to come to a peaceful solution to their problems, the infrastructure by which they operate can make these meetings difficult or impossible. In these situations, mediators can be the most important resource.

The bronze and feather down filled mediums of this sculpture refer to the different tactics by which countries and their citizens communicate internationally. Some countries in the midst of negotiations are static and unable to compromise. Others, that are soft and malleable, can find their concerns crushed under the weight of bigger, more powerful nations.

The key to successful mediation is becoming a facilitator which connects the two; helping each to come to an understanding of the other and realizing the benefits of peaceful coexistence. By tilting the bronze loop back, the feather filled fabric is able to wrap around and button closed without being crushed. Mediated expresses the peaceful results of working out differences and finding that delicate and necessary balance achieved through international communication.