(Clearwisdom.net, May 20, 2005) From May 1-10, 2005, the "Uncompromising Courage" International Art Exhibit was displayed in Lawrence, Kansas a college town in the heartland of America. A local artist writes, "The exhibit is poignant, powerful and beautiful, while also showing such a positive attitude, great courage and compassionate heart. It's hard to properly put into words all the feelings the artwork brings to me. Thank you so much for bringing this exhibit to our community. I hope this helps raise awareness of the gentleness of Falun Gong spiritual exercises and meditation, and of the atrocity of the persecution, so that people respond in ways that truly help." From the responses of the public to the exhibit, it appears it is doing that and more.

press conference

With only three weeks preparation time before the arrival of the exhibit, the Lawrence Public Library, Lawrence Arts Center and the United Way enthusiastically offered the space required to split-up the exhibit, as it was too large to hold in any one available area. The exhibit consists of over 40 plus prints of original art work by Falun Gong practitioners. Four of the artists have personally experienced the torture and savage beatings of the persecution, and one is still a prisoner of consciousness.

After arriving at the Lawrence Arts Center to set up the easels, it was learned that only four small to medium size pictures rather than seven to 10 pictures of any size could be placed in the main lobby. Soon, the writings in the guest books showed that it did not matter if it was four pictures at the arts center or 19 pictures at the library's lower level, the messages of the exhibit came across to the hundreds that viewed them. For example, one woman wrote in the guest book at the arts center, "This art exhibit is an important way to communicate what Falun Dafa is and what is happening to the people who practice. It is so important for people in the western culture to be aware of other persecution, so that other organizations can get involved."

Snapshots of the exhibition site

Public participants of the exhibits did get involve and one way was by signing the postcards to rescue the orphaned children and Charles Lee.

Overwhelmingly, people expressed their gratitude for being given the opportunity to see the pictures and their sense of "ah" at viewing the mastery of the artistic skills and stories they told. Everyone walked away with a richer understanding of the persecution and Falun Gong. Some voiced their deep sadness and even anger that this could be happening. Another woman wrote, "I cannot believe the [Chinese Communist Party's] intolerance to something different. Differences in people are good. There is nothing wrong with Falun Gong practices... These are wonderful depictions in that I am greatly affected by your art." Another person from the public said, "This is a truly amazing story and also very sad for those who believed. I'm a believer."

Individuals and even families came specifically just to view the exhibits. A 10 year old, who saw with her family, the exhibits on Mother's Day wrote, "My favorite one is called, 'Homeless.' I am really sad for the girl that has no parents anymore. Poor little girl."

During the opening reception, Becky of Congressman Dennis Moore's office cut the opening ribbon and told how the Congressman and his office learned about the persecution in 2001. They got a call that a constituent from Moore's district, David Snape, who practices Falun Gong, was being detained by Chinese authorities along with other western Falun Gong practitioners for peacefully appealing the persecution of Falun Gong in China's Tiananmen Square. The picture, "Coming For You," reminded Becky of David's story, as it depicts another group of western practitioners in Tiananmen Square in 2001 who were meditating in front of a banner just prior to being brutally rounded up, detained, and later deported. She explained that the Congressman's office was trying to find ways to get David released, and at the same time learning about the serious nature of the Chinese government's persecution of Falun Gong. Becky noted that if it were not for persons educating their representatives about the various happenings, they would not have a full understanding of the different situations regarding the persecution, and thus cannot act accordingly to help. She commended the art exhibit for carrying the message about the persecution to the public.

As the exhibit time was about to end, it was learned that indeed people were interested enough to see all the pictures, and took the time to traveled to the three sites. When taking the exhibit down, a library staff person told a local Falun Gong practitioner, "I will miss the pictures. One of the reasons is that so many nice people came to view them."

For ten days the pictures illuminated the places where they hung with their light, righteousness, beauty and messages. This illumination opened the hearts, minds, and souls of fellow community members on many different levels.