Hundreds of little paper birds hang from the light fixtures in the Los Banos Library as part of the latest local artist display, which carries a peace theme this month.
In honor of the International Day of Peace, or Peace Day, local artists and students from San Luis High School folded 1,000 origami cranes for the display. Origami cranes traditionally symbolize peace.
"It's just a time in the world right now that I think it's great to be reminded that peace is something that we have to strive toward," Patti Ryan, a participating artist, said. "It's a beautiful display; I think most people will relate to it."
The first Peace Day was celebrated in 1982, and the day parallels the opening of the United Nations' General Assembly every year.
Ryan said it's still common in Japan to give an origami crane as a gift to new parents or newlyweds.
Students in Melissa Jones' San Luis High art class folded several hundred of the cranes last spring.
Jones said the students enjoyed and were excited about the project, and appreciated the symbolism. "They just got really involved in doing it," Jones said.
The cranes surround a poster drawn by local artist Linda Brown. The white poster is marked with a series of patterns, including the flags of every nation and peaceful leaders from around the world, like South Africa's Nelson Mandela, India's Mohandas Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr.
The "Contemplation of Peace" poster is meant to represent the 7 billion people on earth. Brown said the leaders are connected by one continuous line, "which represents continuity between people and the work they do."
At the foot of the poster it says "FREE HUGS."
"[That's] to remind people to hug their neighbor, their family, their friends," Brown said. "It's just sort of a message extending warmth and friendship."
The display is scheduled to be up for six weeks.
In conjunction with the display, a drop-in workshop that teaches children and adults how to fold cranes will be held Oct. 1 at the library from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.