Transforming fear into hope

Transforming fear into hope

By Danae Stahlnecker '15

Core values: 1962, No. 2, by Lin Evola. Photo by Rêverie Arts San Francisco Click here for a larger image
Artist Lin Evola ’75 uses decommissioned weapons—including nuclear missiles—to shape images of peace.
Weapons, repurposed: Lin Evola’s Mexico Peace Angel, 1995. Photo courtesy of the Pasquale Iannetti Gallery

In 1992, Lin Evola ’75 was raising her young son in Los Angeles when she learned that 1,000 kids in L.A. County alone died each year due to gun violence. Devastated by the loss of so many innocent lives, she was inspired to use her artistic talents to spread a message of peace and protection. The Peace Angels Project was born.

Evola takes street weapons, land mines, cluster bomb metal, and even pieces of nuclear missiles as raw material for her art. The weapons are donated by local and national governments and are safely melted down by professionals. The Peace Angel sculptures range from 1 to 150 feet tall and have graced (or will grace) locations such as Jerusalem, Baghdad, and the Sept. 11 Memorial in New York.

Throughout the project, Evola has also painted peace symbols, including her “1962” Peace Signs series, using stainless core metal from decommissioned nuclear missiles. The project is a nod toward the Cuban missile crisis. Evola recalls the terror she felt as a child when she heard on the radio in October 1962 about the possibility of nuclear attack after the Soviet Union was found to have placed missiles in Cuba.

The Soviets backed away from Armageddon then. Evola’s work completes the arc: It includes cores from decommissioned missiles that were donated by Russia. Evola’s work has also led her to be invited to United Nations disarmament talks, to meet with global leaders such as Desmond Tutu and Queen Noor of Jordan, and of course to display her work at international exhibitions.

See more work by Lin Evola here.

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