Choosing What’s Good

Artist Lin Evola ’75 is ambitious. She plans to build five massive monuments, symbols of peace, in five cities across the U.S. The catch? She’s making each one of them out of one million weapons.

Lin Evola ’75 is an unstoppable force. Equipped with an iron will and a full heart, she broadcasts her art across the planet, hoping to inspire change. What she leaves in her wake are the immovable objects that are her work, the Peace Angels. She shows no signs of stopping—and soon, a Peace Angel might stand up near you.

Founded by Evola in 1992, the Peace Angels Project lawfully collects tens of thousands of decommissioned weapons to melt into sculptures and monuments of peace. It was a movement spurred on by the Los Angeles Riots: “I felt inside me that I needed to go down [to LA]. It’s when I got there and learned that 1000 children were killed that I put it all together,” Evola says. “Being an artist, it’s your job to pick up on those visceral nerves of a time period.” And with the birth of the Project, that’s exactly what she did.

What she put together would become, in essence, the task she has at hand today. Evola will make five cities—New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco—homes to massive monuments composed of one million weapons each.

Angel
The Renaissance Peace Angel that stood at Ground Zero. / Image courtesy of New York Daily News Archive

“When I say we’re going to make these monuments out of a million weapons, it’s not a goal, it’s a fact,” Evola says. She’s worked for decades finding potential suppliers and building relationships with them, planning for years in advance so she could bring us and them along step-by-step for the upcoming “fact.” Her list of partners is long and impressive, including the U.S. military, United Nations, NATO, and more overseas collaborators. The Peace Angels Project is truly a global event.

And it’s even more than a global event—the Project is a worldwide language, with sort of Tower-of-Babel-like qualities. It’s best seen in action in her Renaissance Peace Angel, a sculpture of bronze and plaque of decommissioned weapons made in 1995.

When the twin towers fell, Evola knew that the Angel only had one place it needed to be: at Ground Zero. Stood outside a 24/7 recuperation center for rescue workers, the workmen began to make the Angel their own. One by one, they signed its cement base. “It became a real Peace Angel,” Evola says. “It stood there when nobody wanted to talk about peace.” Today it stands in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Fittingly, Evola says that if she has one superpower, it’s symbolism. Take the Bay Area monument for instance: a massive globe with a peace sign circumscribed, surrounded by tiers of sculptures of activists and philanthropists pertinent to the area. “Those people will be perfectly created, down to the eyelash, out of the same material of the monument,” Evola explains. “These monuments will never come down. That’s why they’ll be the best examples of people who have done extreme good. They represent this time period.”

In times when high profile shootings have become disturbingly common, Evola’s celebration of the good humans are capable of is a welcome sight. “It’s so hard in today’s society to shift our focus from what we don’t want, to what we do want. These monuments are there to help us remember: we can always choose what’s good. It’s never too late.” It’s a message buried within the heart of each monument sculpture, and angel of the Project. Pieces of art conquer weapons. Good can conquer evil.

Interested in participating in the Peace Angels Project? Reach out to Lin Evola here: sjones@rubensteinpr.com or (212) 805-3068.

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