Buchanan event inviting community to partake in traditional practice of peace, hope

BUCHANAN — A Chicagoland artist, Indira Johnson, is planning an event this weekend to bring peace and tranquility to the Buchanan community.

The Buchanan Peace Offering will be hosted from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Buchanan Common, next to McCoy Creek.

“It is a tradition rooted in coastal societies,” Johnson said. “People make offerings of leaves and flowers and candles, which are then floated out to the rivers and seas. The idea is that they would contain wishes for peace, for wellbeing and for hope. They celebrate the relationship between the physical and spiritual.”

The peace offering is a free event where participants who come to the Common will find natural supplies provided by event partners. The offering will be in the form of a traditional practice where leaves and flowers are assembled and sent out into the rivers with offerings and messages of hope, restoration and a prayer for peace, according to event information.

Johnson invites participants to bring their own pens and markers if they choose.

“This is a ritual of hope, restoration and a community intention for peace,” Johnson said.

Attendees may also bring their own natural materials to work with, such as hosta and catalpa leaves from their own gardens.

The materials are all natural and will be bound together in floating displays to be sent down McCoy Creek to join with the St. Joseph River.

Johnson said as the offerings travel towards and into the St. Joseph River, they will gradually loosen and come apart. This represents dissolution, the third aspect a lifecycle.

Johnson hopes to inspire and include everyone. She believes working with materials from nature makes creativity more accessible.

“I think what happens when you involve natural materials, there is a tendency for a lot of people to shy away from creating for a fear that they are not artistic,” Johnson said. “With natural materials, there is a willingness to pick them up and put them together. They are so beautiful and make beautiful patterns. It’s the community who comes together and makes the patterns.”

Johnson is known for her community art pieces. It important to her to see the community working toward a common goal.

“Your one voice is then joined together with others,” she said. “[You see] how the one fits the many, and how together, we can do such beautiful creative things.”

Johnson hopes participants will come away with the memory of working with fellow community members, working with nature and the healing aspect of the work itself.

Frances Tuite, owner of Flatwater Farms LLC and one of the partners of River Saint Joe Brewing, helped bring the event to Buchanan. Tuite has known Johnson for years and saw Johnson host a similar event in Skokie, Illinois, earlier this month.

“She’s an amazing artist and very much into community art installations,” Tuite said of Johnson’s work. “She has been very active in non-violence and promoting art as an effort to reach people. She’s done a number of art installations in Chicago.”

Johnson is originally from Mumbai, India, and now lives in Illinois, but keeps a residence in Buchanan with her husband.

Ten community partners in Buchanan are involved in the Buchanan Peace Offering event, including Fernwood Botanical Gardens, which will be providing some leaves and materials. The Buchanan Art Center, River Saint Joe, Buchanan Tree Friends, Gustavsen’s, Alan Robandt Antique, Modern and Vintage, Buchanan District Library, The Paper, One Buchanan and Bike Buchanan are involved in the event.

Social distancing and COVID-19 protocols will be in effect in at the event.

Giving

Niles nonprofit aims to provide 100 Thanksgiving Day meals

News

Niles couple plans for socially-distanced Thanksgiving

Business

Niles Main Street launches social media campaign focused on shopping small during the holiday season

Edwardsburg

Two involved in Edwardsburg drug bust arraigned on charges

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Cass, Van Buren counties report additional COVID-19 deaths

News

Niles City Council welcomes new member

Business

The Strand to offer hayride tour of Sister Lakes

Buchanan

Buchanan City Commission discusses master plan, marijuana application, trees complaints

News

Niles City Council approves outdoor dining zone

News

UPDATE: Rite Aid expands no-cost COVID-19 testing

Dowagiac

Dowagiac city utilities portal receives positive feedback from community

News

Niles District Library decorates for holidays

Business

New Niles restaurant to celebrate creativity

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 314,216 cases, 8,543 deaths

News

Niles man charged in downtown bank robbery

Berrien County

Pokagon Band donates proceeds from Four Winds Invitational to Beacon Children’s Hospital

Berrien County

Local effort underway to support Wreaths Across America

Dowagiac

SMC unveils Grady Scholars initiative

News

MDARD, MI Retailers Association, Meijer urging consumers to shop as normal

News

Further protecting construction, manufacturing workers, MIOSHA enhances inspection efforts

Berrien County

Police rescue man trapped under vehicle after two-car crash in Niles Township

News

Niles mayor asks public to heed warnings after testing positive for COVID-19

Business

Local tree farm opens for holiday season

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg Sports Complex asking for support on GivingTuesday