(Minghui.org) The Art of Zhen Shan Ren exhibition started a two-week run on July 8 at the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd Veterans Memorial Building in downtown Atlanta, where thousands of Georgia state government employees work. It’s the second time the exhibition has been held in this building; the last time was in May 2014. It’s also the fourth time the exhibition has been held in the Atlanta area.

Over 60 works of art are on display. They reflect the spiritual realms of Falun Dafa practitioners, and many of them are based on true stories.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to open the exhibition. From the left: Suzy Voyles, chairwoman of Eagle Forum of Georgia, State Representative Mesha Mainor, State Senator Kay Kirkpatrick, director of the Atlanta Falun Dafa Association and exhibition organizer Steve Sun, State Representative Shea Roberts, and Chairwoman of the Cobb County Republican Party Salleig Grubbs.

Five dignitaries spoke at the opening ceremony, including the event sponsor, State Senator Kay Kirkpatrick, State Representatives Shea Roberts and Mesha Mainor of the Democratic Party, and Suzy Voyles, Chairwoman of the Eagle Forum of Georgia, a conservative NGO.

Republican State Senator Kay Kirkpatrick sponsored the event.

Senator Kay Kirkpatrick learned of the persecution of Falun Dafa two years ago when several practitioners visited her office. She later initiated and passed a bill in Georgia condemning the persecution of Falun Dafa in China.

In her speech at the opening ceremony, Senator Kirkpatrick emphasized the importance of the freedom of expression and praised the exhibition for bringing a visual impact to visitors and letting people know what’s happening in China.

“Freedom of belief and freedom of self-expression are the cornerstones of the founding of the United States, and we know that this is not the case in all countries in the world,” she said. “Living in the United States, we all take freedom for granted, and this art exhibition reminds us that this is not the case. Freedom is not guaranteed.”

State Representative Shea Roberts

State Representative Shea Roberts of the Democratic Party said that the Chinese Communist Party’s live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners is heinous and that she would promote a bill in the legislative assembly to condemn it. “We all know that some groups in the world want to control power by creating turmoil and fear, and what can deal with this tyranny is the truth,” she said.

State Representative Mesha Mainor

Democratic State Representative Mesha Mainor said she had meditated before and that, as a Christian, she understood that we must look within for shortcomings while facing the world, following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Representative Mainor visited Hong Kong when people took to the streets demanding their freedom. “Only with democracy and freedom can the people have their own choices, and this art exhibition shows this,” she said.

Salleigh Grubbs, Chairwoman of the Cobb County Republican Party.

Ms. Salleigh Grubbs, Chairwoman of the Cobb County Republican Party, said she noticed a Falun Gong group during an Independence Day parade a few years back. She said Falun Gong’s core principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are shared by her Christian faith.

Ms. Grubbs believes that the United States is the last bastion of freedom in the world and must not be lost. She was also very happy that a Chinese group in the United States held this art exhibition, striving to use their personal experiences to warn Americans. In these paintings, she saw that cultivators can naturally express peace and tranquility when facing atrocities, which she said is admirable.

Suzy Voyles, Chairwoman of Eagle Forum of Georgia.

“Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, who can oppose these? Who can say that these virtues are not good? I really can’t do it,” exclaimed Suzy Voyles, Chairwoman of the Eagle Forum of Georgia, a conservative NGO. She condemned the CCP’s forced organ harvesting from Falun Dafa practitioners, Uighurs, and members of underground churches.

Ms. Voyles said that both Texas and Nebraska have passed resolutions condemning forced organ harvesting. She is pleased that Georgia lawmakers will also promote a similar bill but said it needs to be elevated to the federal level. Facing these kinds of crimes against humanity, Ms. Voyles said, “If we remain silent, how do we face ourselves? You look in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘What kind of person am I?’” She said that she will never be silent and encouraged everyone to join in condemning the atrocities.

Chinese version available

Category: Art & Photo Exhibits