The Iraq Art Mile

A project of The Art Mile Murals Project and The Iraqi Children's Art Exchange

ICAE is coordinating The Iraq Art Mile (IAM) as part of The Art Miles Murals, an international project that emerged in support of the UNESCO Decade of Peace and Non-violence Among Children of the World: 2000-2010. IAM is sponsoring a series of murals to be painted both in the Middle East and in the US with the theme: Building a Culture of Peace: Who Are We/Who Are They. All the murals created for this project, along with documenting photographs, will be displayed in the US and in the Middle East. The exhibits will illuminate history and culture within the context of the lives, hopes, dreams and expectations of children and youth on both sides of the cultural and political divide that exists at this particular moment in history.

The ultimate destination of the IAM murals is Egypt, where in September, 2010, the Art Mile Murals Project will mark the end of the Decade of Peace and Non-violence Among Children with a giant, gala exhibition. Thousands of murals created by children and youth from around the world will celebrate and give testimony to their work and vision for a better, more peaceful future.

Goals and Mission of the Mural Projects

The mission of The Iraq Art Mile (IAM) is to initiate and support the painting of canvas murals by children and youth in the US and in the Middle East, engaging them in a public art project whose goal is to create a dynamic, cross-cultural forum.

IAM believes art is an important language that enables children and youth to communicate, to reflect, understand and comment on their lives. Their work in this project will be guided by our mission to open a path for communication that will lead to mutual respect and understanding. The murals will provide a vehicle -- a way to reach out, a process and a context in which participants can begin to know and understand the "others" involved in this project.

The goal of The Iraq Art Mile is to engage children and youth in reflection: who are we/who are they; in conversation: what do we want to say and how will we say it; and in creative expression: what will we paint and how. We support a process that encourages the painters to consider these questions before brush is dipped into paint, and paint put onto canvas.

The Iraq Art Mile shares the goals and mission of the Art Miles Mural Project. Working together, we will connect children and youth from the Middle East and the U.S. to thousands of others all around the world.

Documenting the Murals and the Process

IAM believes that documentation is a critical component of this project. Photographs and video help provide a wider view and a rich context for understanding the lives of people in the community producing a mural. For this reason we encourage documentation of the painting process and support projects that invite participating children/youth to capture views of their community that they feel are significant to their lives.

IAM believes the documentation process helps participating children/youth and adults answer important questions as they plan and execute their project: who are we, what do we want to say, and how will we say it.

Details and specifics about producing murals for IAM and The Art Mile Murals Project are available at: www.the-art-miles-mural-project.org