Thanks to the Commission for support for our very unique community project!!!
North Port City Commission, Jim Blucher-Mayor
North Port City Commission, Tom Jones
Sarasota County Commission, Christine Robinson, District-3
North Port Art Center Grant Writer President, Louise Hall
North Port Art Center President, Mary Alspaugh
Statement from Cheer on “Mandalas For World Peace”:
Eighteen individual mandalas spiral against a backdrop of thousands of glittering blue cups: eighteen individual visions and human strivings for a better world in the foreground of an infinite, heavenly galaxy. The birds in flight represent freedom in thought, spirit, and choice while still being held within the form. These eighteen mandalas have been imagined, designed and created by people spanning ages 12 through 70.
At this point, humanity has reached the height of technology, but our hearts, minds and imaginations are slowly slipping away. Many people have stopped imagining world peace is possible. They have even stopped imagining peace in their own life is possible. My vision for “Mandalas For World Peace” sculpture is that we will rekindle our artistic imaginations which is the path to new beginnings.
There are four cornerstone plaques on the sculpture. These cornerstones are: Truth, Love, Wisdom, Balance. “Mandalas For World Peace” is the very first outdoor sculpture the city has ever owned, and now displayed at Warm Mineral Springs, a treasure that should make North Port very proud.
Mar 29, 2013 NORTH PORT, FL — After nearly 14 months in the planning, fundraising and creation process, the sculpture ‘Mandalas for World Peace’ was officially revealed at the Warm Mineral Springs Day Spa late Wednesday afternoon. Installed March 15, the artwork weighs between 500 and 600 pounds, according to local clay artist John Cheer, who created the piece. A mandala is defined as ‘a graphic and often symbolic pattern, usually in the form of a circle.’ The sculpture consists of 18 3-D clay circle designs (mandalas), each measuring 12 inches in diameter. Individual mandalas were made/designed by John Cheer and by 14 other artists ranging in ages from 12 to 69, including students whose clay circle designs were selected in a contest. Each mandala symbolizes each artist’s vision of world peace. Cheer said it took him three months to finish the work. He hoped he did justice to all the other artists who contributed to the piece. “This is all about vision, determination and courage,” he said. Materials used for the entire sculpture include clay, glass, copper wire, stainless steel, aluminum and wood.
The artwork seeks to encourage thoughts toward world peace, and possibly attract more national and international tourists to the Springs and its mineral-rich, 87-degree lake.
North Port, Florida – “Mandalas for World Peace”, designed and created by clay artist John Cheer, North Port Art Center instructor, has been completed and officially turned over to the City of North Port, Florida, and County of Sarasota at Warm Mineral Springs. This magnificent 9 x 5 foot sculpture weighs between 500 and 600 pounds. Eighteen mandalas executed by artists from near and far will now find its permanent home at the Springs, and will stand as our contribution to our community’s commitment to world peace among nations. “It is truly a piece of art of which we can all be justifiably proud! Not only for its beauty, but also for the positive and hopeful message it conveys to all who view it.” says Mary Alspaugh, North Port Art Center president. Warm Mineral Springs is planning to install a “Peace Garden” around the sculpture to further enhance its beauty.
The Art Center wishes to thank our own Louise Hall who worked tirelessly as “Mandalas” Project Coordinator and whose efforts to find funding for this project made it all possible. Kudos also go to “Mandalas” designer and creator John Cheer who guided the entire project through its completion. Wonderful job, both of you. And we also thank Gene Vaccaro, manager of Warm Mineral Springs, for his patience and kind support as we worked out the inevitable kinks along the way.
This project was funded by the North Port Art Center, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, North Port City Commission, Sarasota County Commission, Sarasota County Tourist Development Council, and by private donations. Thanks to all of you!!!
Mary Alspaugh, North Port Art Center President, Board of Directors
North Port, Florida – “Mandalas for World Peace”/ October 13, 2012 / 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – The public is invited to observe artist John Cheer and several of the other 14 contributing artists as they make decisions as to the placement of the eighteen individual clay mandalas on the 5′ X 9′ “Mandalas For World Peace” wall sculpture at Warm Mineral Springs Day Spa. A mandala is a graphic design and often symbolic pattern, usually in the form of a circle. The North Port Art Center’s goal is to inspire world peace thoughts and attract additional tourists to Warm Mineral Springs. On October 13, you will be able to visit with clay artist John Cheer and converse about the undertaking of this large project. The project was made possible, in part, from donations by a Gulf Coast Community Foundation Grant, City of North Port Art Fund, Sarasota County, Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues, local corporations, and individuals. John Cheer’s vision for “Mandalas For World Peace” sculpture is that our artistic imaginations will be rekindled, as a path to new beginnings. The North Port Art Center invited artists to submit a mandala design concept for consideration. Steve Miller and Catherine Beausoleil of North Port, Frances Smith and high school student Madisyn Alberry of Venice, Carla O’Brien and Brenda Smoak of Sarasota, Laurel Neth of Punta Gorda, Elizabeth Mitchell of Tampa, Tiffany Adams of Rhode Island, Joseph Yeh of California, Michael Manthey of Pennsylvania, and Hunter Curtis, Ashley Payas, and Gabriella Gobbo, all students of North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts, had their designs accepted to inspire world peace. John Cheer, the North Port Art Center, participating artists, and the many donors look forward to this first -ever sculpture owned by North Port to be located in a Peace Garden on the Warm Mineral Springs property. For more information, contact John Cheer at (610) 782-9880.
* Jane Hendrickson – Some years ago, Jane had a vision of a “Mandalas For World Peace” sculpture to be cooperatively created by both United States and Turkish clay artists and then to be displayed in Istanbul Square for worldwide travellers to view. A prototype for her “Mandalas” vision was designed by John. While the North Port “Mandalas For World Peace” is not this same design, it evolved and flowered from it. Thank you, Jane.