“Artists for Peace and the Environment” ’99

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Woodstock '99

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“Artists for Peace & the Environment” ’99

“Art is an eternal and essential cornerstone in the process of creating great musical events. Art and music are connected to the soul. This has been fundamental throughout all of the Woodstock Festivals starting in 1969 and continuing with monumental art walls in 1994 and 1999.”

-Michael Lang

April, 2006.

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In 1994, the Woodstock Ventures created an Art Wall that extended through the mile length perimeter of the festival site. Works by Robert Indiana, Kenny Scharfe, Ron English and many other of the best of contemporary artists were donated to form this wall.   All who conceptualized, crated, and donated art works   took the opportunity to use the setting as an awareness tool to focus on the problems that they saw facing us regarding the environment.

In 1999, Michael Lang continued this tradition by contracting a group of in house artists to create a ” Wall of Peace” that ran the parameters of the Griffiths Air Force Base.  There was also an art tent,  displayed on the grounds of the 99′ festival that included art panels from the ’94 show, canvas art panels by Artists for Peace and the Environment and photo journalistic displays of works by Lisa Law, Henry Diltz, and Elliot Landy taken at the original 1969 festival.

In retrospect, Michael Lang, as well as all of the artists and curatorial contributors were ahead of their time establishing a usage  of music and art to promote an expansive cultural horizon and a general public  awareness for peace and the environment. This process of public and personal awareness through the arts is as relevant today as when Michael Lang began in ‘69. An optimism realized through participation can be seen in the art panels from Woodstock ‘99 on display with the art panels painted last year at the “Young and Free Festival” held in Nuremberg on behalf of the children for UNICEF in association with Dieter Schneider and the Steps Organization. 

Jamie Ellin Forbes

Curatorial statement

On behalf of the Michael Lang Organization for Toll Wood 2006

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