Lily Yeh, Artist-Activist, To Speak in Blue Hill, Maine

Portrait of Lily Yeh by Robert ShetterlyLily Yeh (read more about her here),  an extraordinary artist who uses art to revitalize and heal broken communities, and one of Rob Shetterly's honorees in his series of portraits of "Americans Who Tell the Truth", will speak of her life's work, at 7pm on Monday, December 8th at the Bay School's Emlen Hall in Blue Hill.  Ms Yeh will also present segments of the documentary, The Barefoot Artist, a tribute to her work using art to heal broken communities.

In 1986, Ms Yeh, with the help of children and adults of a ravaged inner city neighborhood in North Philadelphia, transformed an abandoned lot into an oasis of safety and a focal point of community pride.  That model led to the birth of The Village of Arts and Humanities, a non-profit co-founded by Yeh in 1989.  The community-based organization has since transformed more than 120 inner-city lots into gardens and parks and today stands as a model for the revitalization of urban landscapes across the country. 

Yeh's legacy has gone far beyond Philly.  In 2002, she founded Barefoot Artists through which she has taken her art and distinctive spirit global.  Wounded and impoverished communities in Haiti, Syria, China, India, Ecuador and elsewhere now have in common places of uplifting color and pride. 

In 2004, Shetterly joined Yeh in Rwanda where they constructed the Rugerero Genocide Memorial.  He again accompanied her to Palestine last April where they continued Ms Yeh's work at the Balata Refugee camp outside of Nablus.

Lily Yeh's quote on her "Americans Who Tell the Truth" portrait reads, "This process (her art form) lays the foundation of building a genuine community in which people are reconnected with their families, sustained by meaningful work, nurtured by the care from each other and will together raise and educate their children." Yeh's inclusion among Shetterly's great Americans is testimony to the power of her work.

Co-sponsors:  Island Peace & Justice, Peninsula Peace & Justice, Americans Who Tell the Truth, Maine Veterans for Peace: Tom Sturtevant Chapter