January 11, 2022
Let peace ring: Columbia debuts new public art piece in the Vista. Here’s what it is.
One Columbia for Arts and Culture dedicated the latest work of public art in Columbia, the Vista Peace Pole, in the grassy median of the 900 block of Senate Street (between Assembly and Lincoln) at 10 am on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.
The Columbia Peace Pole Initiative, in collaboration with One Columbia for Arts and Culture, commissioned Columbia artist Eileen Blyth to create a unique, artistic version of a Peace Pole. The world-wide Peace Pole movement encourages the planting of Peace Poles on which the message “May Peace Prevail On Earth” is written in many languages.
The public was invited to the dedication. Mayor Rickenmann spoke at the event and native speakers of the eight languages on the Vista Peace Pole read the peace message ( May Peace Prevail On Earth) translation in their native language and rang the bell to indicate that “peace is a verb as well as a noun.”
The Columbia Peace Pole Initiative was formed to encourage the planting of Peace Poles around the city and the Midlands.
The eight-foot, CorTen steel structure proclaims “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in eight languages of raised, stainless steel lettering. The languages chosen for this four-sided Vista Peace Pole (Arabic, Catawba, English, Gullah, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese and Spanish) represent some of the peoples of South Carolina.
Artist Eileen Blyth included a bell in her design, saying, “The bell invites the viewer to come closer for examination, giving them a moment to reflect on the thought and a moment of peace. The gong encourages calm.” The bell falls from a slight overhang at the top of the Peace Pole; young and old can enjoy ringing it, the clapper inside producing a soft gong sound.