Gail Rothschild

Peace Mandala

1991


Corn, beans, rice, and clay figures. 3 x 72 x 72 inches.
Created for the Food Stamp Gallery. New York, NY

The Food Stamp Gallery was located in a storefront window in East Harlem, where I taught. On January 15, 1991, I spent the day in the window where I dribbled rice, corn and beans – typical foods in this Hispanic community – into the shape of a classic Tibetan mandala. As I worked, people gathered to discuss this celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace in the face of the impending Gulf War. My young students came to visit and later made their own mandalas in the classroom. The window text in English and Spanish said:

A Mandala is a symbol of peace that comes from Tibet.
It forms the shape of a house.
Usually the mandala is made of sand,
But this Mandala is made of rice, corn, and beans
The figures march across the Mandala.
They search for shelter, food and freedom from violence.
All people deserve these things.
Why should we spend so much to make war
When so many are hungry, homeless, and afraid?

Peace Mandala, 1991
Corn, beans, rice, and clay figures
3 x 72 x 72 inches

Peace Mandala, 1991
Corn, beans, rice, and clay figures
3 x 72 x 72 inches

Peace Mandala, 1991
Corn, beans, rice, and clay figures
3 x 72 x 72 inches