In March 2003, dismayed by both the imminent war in Iraq and ongoing U.S. defiance of the global community, Thomas Ingmire invited approximately eighty friends and colleagues to participate in a collective calligraphic project on the subjects of war, fear, and peace. Each person was asked to write out a statement on a 5" x 20" sheet of paper and send it to Thomas, who would then arrange these pieces into a work that would be shown as part of he Friends of Calligraphy exhibit, Kalligraphia X, at the San Francisco Public Library. Thomas also requested that the participants invite their friends, families, and colleagues to contribute statements; children, in particular, were encouraged to take part. To date, more than 750 people from twenty-eight nations have responded. This installation - Words For Peace - is the result.
With the invitations issued and pieces arriving daily in the mail, Thomas set about exploring various formats he might use as the unifying structure for the project. It soon became clear that creating a work whose "whole was greater than the sum of its parts" was going to be a challenge. Meanwhile, something unexpected was happening: Thomas began to realize that the participants' statements were raising questions for him which often felt as provocative as the statements themselves.