Dedication of Humanitarian Sculpture Collection

(Ashland, Ore.) – The Hannon Library at Southern Oregon University will hold a dedication ceremony on Nov 4 for a sculpture collection of humanitarian peacemakers. Meera Censor, an Ashland resident and artist, donated her collection to the library. It features 21 sculptures of people from all around the world that have contributed to peaceful causes. Icons such as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela are expertly recreated in hydrostone and bronze. The ceremony takes place at 3 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the first floor of the library. A reception will follow in the Meese Room (#305) with light refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.

Meera Censor, an “unexpected sculptor”, had little formal training when she first began this series in 1997. The first piece paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, Censor’s chief inspiration for both her art and her personal philosophy. This piece was only the second sculpture that Censor had ever created, but it spurred a seven-year dedication to sculpting these humanitarians, and a continuing study of nonviolent social change. Not content with physical images, Censor made of point of learning all that she could about each of her subjects. She has donated many of her books about these humanitarians to the Hannon Library to supplement the collection.

The collection was gifted to the library after Library Dean Paul Adalian saw Censor’s work during one of Ashland’s First Friday Art Walks. Hannon Library is pleased to add the sculpture series to its other notable collections and exhibits. Showcasing people from many nations and cultures, these sculptures embody the library’s focus on multiculturalism and international awareness. The collection is now on permanent display on the first floor of the library, in a custom exhibit provided by the library with design assistance from Steve Frazier of the Schneider Museum.

The artist and the library encourage local teachers to bring students in to see the collection and to incorporate the histories of these humanitarians into their courses. Meera Censor is available to speak to classes about these people and their work. She will be happy to visit local schools or meet classes at Hannon Library. Teachers and educators can get more information by contacting the library at (541) 552-6816, or Meera Censor at (541) 488-5683.

The artist has written a companion book to this collection, which provides more information about the art and the subjects’ personal histories. The book includes color photographs of each sculpture, provided by Colby Stephens, an SOU alumnus. The book is available for sale at the SOU Bookstore and Hannon Library, or by order through the artist’s website. Proceeds will fund two final sculptures for the collection, and then be divided among the various organizations Censor represents.

For more information about Meera Censor and her artwork, visit http://www.meeracensor.com/.

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