Peace Fence to gain new life as Peace Wall

Ashland's defunct Peace Fence will be reincarnated in front of the library as the Peace Wall, if organizers can raise $25,000 to fund the project.

Last June vandals destroyed the Peace Fence — a row of panels created by artists and more than 180 children that hung on the chain link fence by the railroad tracks at the foot of Fourth Street — and organizers have been searching for a way to recreate it since.

The new Peace Wall will consist of ceramic tiles replicated from photographs of all the Peace Fence's 200 panels. The tiles, created by local artist Kay Cutter, will be incorporated into a mosaic background placed within a metal sculpture, designed by Sue Springer.

"It's exciting," said Nancy Parker, one of the Peace Wall organizers. "A lot of people were pretty sad to see the fence come down."

The tiles will be UV protected so they won't fade in sunlight, and hopefully the more permanent structure of the Peace Wall will prevent vandalism, Parker said.

"I suppose someone could take a hammer to it like they do sometimes with Lincoln (a statue in Lithia Park)," she said. "If they do spray paint it, the tiles can be cleaned."

At its March 3 meeting, the City Council unanimously approved organizers' request to install the Peace Wall on the retaining wall in front of the library. The City of Ashland has also purchased 25 tiles to present to dignitaries from sister city Guanajuato, Mexico, who will be visiting in April.

The cost of the project is estimated at $25,000, Parker said, so if 2,500 people donated $10, their fundraising goal would be met. In fact, organizers have already raised $1,500 toward the project, she added.

Organizers plan to kick off fundraising efforts with a Mother's Day event, coinciding with the two-year anniversary of the Peace Fence, which was conceived by Jean Bakewell and installed in 2007. Potential future fundraisers could include musical performances, a photo slideshow of the peace panels and a silent auction, Parker said.

"We're thinking of ways and we would love anyone who has any fundraising experience to step in," she said.

Several people have already volunteered to hold private dinner parties at their homes and solicit donations from guests for the Peace Wall, she said.

Tax-deductible donations should be made payable to the Peace House and mailed to P.O. Box 524, Ashland, OR 97520. Donors should indicate "Peace Wall" on their checks, Parker said.

"All we need to do is raise the money," she said. "This isn't going to happen if we don't raise the money."

Organizers hope to have the Peace Wall finished by International Peace Day on Sept. 21.

"It's pretty ambitious, but the tiles are in the process of being made," Parker said.

For more information on the Peace Wall, visit

Reach Kira Rubenthaler at or 482-3456 ext. 225.

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