News Release

Exhibit “A Peace of My Mind” by Photographer John Noltner

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Monday, August 8, 2016

What does peace mean to you? That’s the central question photographer and storyteller John Noltner (in photo) has been asking people for his social commentary project and exhibit, A Peace of My Mind. The exhibit will be on display on the campus of the University of Minnesota John Noltner Crookston from Friday, August 19, through Monday, August 29. Panels from the project will be located in four locations across campus: Kiehle Auditorium’s Rotunda, Sargeant Student Center, Brown Dining Room in Sahlstrom Conference Center, and the new Wellness Center. The exhibit will be open daily during regular campus hours for free campus and public viewing.

The exhibition will culminate with a keynote address by the photographer, John Noltner, along with a discussion on Monday, August 29, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The public is invited to attend this event. Parking will be free for the public during that time. “Crookston: A Community of Peace" Breakfast with community leaders will be held on campus on Monday, August 29 from 8 -9:30 a.m. Cost is $12 per person. Contact Lorna Hollowell for information on the breakfast at

Founded in 2009, A Peace of My Mind is a multimedia art project that fosters public dialogue about issues related to conflict resolution, civic responsibility, and peace. With engaging portraits and compelling personal stories, nearly 100 diverse subjects describe what peace means to them, how they work toward it in their lives, and some of the obstacles they encounter along the way.

Those profiled in A Peace of My Mind include Holocaust survivors and a homeless man, a Somali refugee and a military chaplain, a pottery instructor and an oil company executive. Artists, volunteers, politicians, and business leaders all share their thoughts and inspiring stories in a series that celebrates our common experience and sense of community.

A Peace of My Mind expanded into the public forum in 2010 with the production of the traveling exhibit, funded through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Since then, more than 80,000 people have viewed the exhibit at schools, private galleries, community centers, places of worship, libraries, and universities across the country.

Using this model, A Peace of My Mind has been presented at the Peace and Justice Studies Association National Conference, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and the Dayton International Peace Museum. The project has been honored in 2013 with EDIT’s Art for Change award, Jovial Concept’s Peace Initiative, and a Jefferson Award for Youth Service.

According to Lorna Hollowell, director of the U of M Crookston’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Programs, the exhibit, keynote address and discussion serve as a kick-off for a year of programming designed to foster a campus and local community of peace. Subsequent programs will share the common theme of peace among people. Hollowell says a student brought the exhibit to her attention, and it seemed the perfect way to set the stage for programming that helps bring people of diverse backgrounds together.

Sponsors for the event include the Office of Diversity & Multicultural Programs, Concerts & Lectures. Student Activities, Career & Counseling, Student & Family Experience, International Programs, Residential Life, Campus Ministries, Disability Resource Center, Athletics, Religious Diversity Committee, CSA, SPACE, PEACE Alliance, Rotary Club, and the Crookston Chamber.

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations


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