Transformation into Peace
My painting has to do with my history. I grew up in the city during a time of great social change in the 1960's, when I was witness to a lot of violence. I wanted to work with kids in the inner city on conflict resolution, and so I came to art first as a therapeutic tool. The children were able to see the possibilities that can come from working creatively, both together and separately. I found art to be a great catalyst for change in their social attitudes.
After I designed and painted my mural on the Al Aqsa mosque in North Philadelphia, I came to know the Islamic community and I continue to work with them each year, in the MLK projects. Originally, it was an outreach project to educate and involve the surrounding community in an understanding of Islam. In the painting for this show, I use the transformation of a butterfly as a metaphor for the evolution of peace through education and exchange.
Cathleen Hughes, a native Philadelphian, has worked for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program for the past fifteen years as an art educator and muralist. She has exhibited her abstract paintings both nationally and internationally. In 2004 she designed and painted Al Aqsa Academy in Philadelphia. She continues to serve her community as an artist and believes that art can change lives and be a catalyst for peace.