This year’s campus theme of civility is illustrated beautifully in “Humanitarians for Justice, Non-Violence and Peace,” a new art exhibit in the Hannon Library, consisting of 21 bronze busts of famous humanitarians.
Dedicated Friday, the collection of sculptures was donated by Ashland artist Meera Censor.
Censor, a 66-year-old Ashland resident and mother of five, was inspired to create the collection by a personal experience with violence and discrimination during her teenage years that led to what she refers to as a personal “peak of non-violence.” She passionately believes that “violence begets violence, and the cycle only ends with an open mind and clear heart.”
She began the 21-piece collection in 1997 with a bust of Gandhi, her personal inspiration. The bust was the second sculpture that she had ever created. She followed the initial piece with busts of many others who she felt were either inspired by Gandhi or did something similar to promote justice and non-violence, including Chief Joseph, Mother Teresa, Meena Keshwar Kamal, Nelson Mandela, Cesar Chavez, and many others.
In addition to the sculptures, Censor donated her personal collection of books about each of the subjects to the Hannon Library, along with a copy of an accompanying book that she wrote about the 21 inspiring exemplars of civility, titled “Humanitarians for Justice, Nonviolence and Peace: Journey of an Unexpected Sculptor.” Her book is for sale in the Hannon Library, SOU Bookstore, and on Amazon.com for $15. The proceeds from her book sales will go to fund the creation of the final pieces that she would like to make for the collection.
This year’s last event honoring civility, titled “Civility, Democracy, and Conflict,” will be held Nov. 17, at 7 p.m., in the Meese Auditorium, and will include presentations from SOU Professors Edwin Battistella and Jon Lange, and retired United States Forest Service Historian and Archaeologist Jeffrey M. LaLande.