OVERCOMING RACISM :
How the paintings came to be
A series of six oil paintings
by Corinne Peters and Ruth Councell
In the Spring of 2005, the Antiracism Commission of the Diocese of New Jersey was planning a one-day conference to be held at the Cathedral in November. They asked me if I would consider creating something visual to represent the struggle against racism in the church and in the world. The idea came to me of several large poster-like pieces, each depicting a different race, with images of historic events and people. I asked artist Corinne Peters if she would like to work with me on the project and she readily agreed.
I admired Corinne’s work, and the fact that she is black made it all the more appropriate for the endeavor. We met, we prayed, we talked, we sketched, we did lots of research on the internet. We wanted the paintings to work together as a series but at the same time to allow for our own individual means of expression. We agreed on some things and not on others. In the end we had boiled it down to what we felt was essential and then each took our separate way.
Corinne is more of a fine artist and I am more of an illustrator. Though all six paintings have elements of both, my paintings have more specific information, and hers are more symbolic and conceptual in nature. We both put our hearts into the project and feel tremendously blessed and enriched by the experience. We have learned a lot from each other and are blessed by the friendship that has grown out of this work. We hope that the paintings will be used for many future events.
Ruth Tietjen Councell
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