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The Art of Transformation

Peace and Culture

by Martin Saito

Sculptor and designer Brian Enright, of West Oakland, California, has always used his art to give new life to objects and artifacts. Through his work using metal, wood and other raw materials that are often at the end of their life cycles, Mr. Enright changes our perceptions of these everyday items.

That’s why he seized the opportunity to create a piece for the Art of Peace exhibition, which transforms confiscated firearms and ammunition into instruments of peace.

Art of Peace is an initiative between the Robby Poblete Foundation and the District Attorney’s Office of Alameda County. The foundation was created by Pati Navalta Poblete after her son, Robby, was shot and killed in Vallejo, California, in 2014.

Mr. Enright’s piece, titled “Seeds of Hope,” portrays a flower blowing in the wind, prepared to seed new life, and inspire hope, change and creativity. In particular, his sources of inspiration can be found in the sunflower, because of its ability to soak up radioactive toxins from the soil, and the lotus, which blooms beautifully and unsullied in a murky pond.

“This is as muddy as it gets,” Mr. Enright said. “This piece transforms confiscated guns—tools of death and destruction—into a symbol of peace. Flowers sow seeds of new life, they sow seeds of hope.”

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