But since September 11, Chicago Artist and Peace Activist Matt Lamb has helped thousands of adults and children from around the world use something as simple as an umbrella to represent their personal values and world peace. Lamb teaches them to express their feelings of grief and pain by hand painting umbrellas. And in change, the umbrella is used as a symbol of protection to whomever is under it.
Lamb Umbrellas for Peace
Lamb Umbrellas for Peace is a global art project involving the painting and decorating of umbrellas by children and adults. Individuals artistically design umbrellas that represent their personal values of world peace. The umbrella functions as a manifestation of the individual bringing peace to the world in which they live.
After the September 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon, Matt Lamb was asked by the Secretary of the Veteran's of Foreign Affairs to find a way to help the individuals whose lives had been affected by the tragedy work through their grief. In May of 2002, 38 participants gathered with Matt to express their feelings of grief and pain and work through them to find their hopes and dreams. They did this by painting umbrellas! A parade followed in Washington D.C., with displays on Capitol Hill and a tour of the White House. Since that time, over 900,000 individuals in 25 countries have participated in Lamb Umbrellas for Peace projects.
The philosophy behind Lamb Umbrellas for Peace is rooted in the notion that the umbrella is a metaphor for protection. It does not discriminate, and all people-regardless of race, age, gender or nationality-are safe under the umbrella. The top of the umbrella is the shelter and represents our hopes, dreams and aspirations. The underside of the umbrella represents concerns and fears. Lamb Umbrellas for Peace helps children and adults express their positive emotions and heal negative experiences by painting them onto the umbrella. It teaches individuals peace, hope, love, and creativity instead of the daily message of war and aggression. It is our goal to spread these messages into the world through art.
Lamb Umbrellas for Peace has worked with preschool through college students and adults of all ages. Organizations of all kinds can participate in this project including businesses and their staffs as well as entire communities. Therefore, no matter the size, composition, or nature of your business, Lamb Umbrellas for Peace can work with your organization to accommodate your business model.
Please know that we work tirelessly to bring victory to each person who might be discouraged by their circumstances. We empower the individual to step forward with their own voice through painting an umbrella, all the while, spreading a loving and peaceful message.
Matt Lamb Bio
"Art is the universal language, and it can change the world". This statement is regularly heard when speaking with artist, peace activist, and philosopher Matt Lamb. Following in the footsteps of his father, he began his business life as an undertaker. He daringly changed his life following his defeat of death in order to positively influence the hopes and dreams of others. He accomplished this goal with the assistance of the divine message of the Spirit through the power and impact of art. His life and the lives of others are expressed and fortified through each individual brush stroke within each painting inspired by the Spirit.
With studios all over the world, Matt Lamb has the opportunity and capability to complete his artistic outputs wherever he may travel. Controversially, Matt Lamb has used colors and materials in unheard of approaches, and successfully, he continues to do so. With a process Lamb has named, "The Dip", he immerses the canvas into a mixture of repellent materials giving each painting a distinct texture and look. Following the completion of this first step, these incomplete pieces are left to dry over a period of months or even years. The final addition to this prolific, artistic message is the selective addition between figurative, abstract, and semi-abstract modes.
With innumerable projects and paintings, one can only be amazed at the work this 78 year old, Irish-American man has accomplished. What began as a life of an undertaker, has blossomed into the life of an immortal, inspirational spirit. Now a man of life, Lamb spends his days painting and teaching children that violence is definitely not the answer and tolerance, peace, hope, and love should be key factors to every persons life. With world wide acknowledgments and countless shows, Lamb has had a very rewarding and successful journey.
From his artwork to his Umbrellas for Peace, Matt Lamb relays the unending message of what the world could become. Through his artwork, as inspired by the spirit, he forwards messages of love, tragedy, hope, forgiveness, unity, tolerance and peace from those who have passed. Each of these components are main aspects of the world and the capability it has to become better. These emotions and actions are what lead to the catastrophe of September 11, 2001. His Umbrellas for Peace began with the children who became victims that day to the loss of their parents, guardians or loved ones. As commissioned by the Pentagon to help these children to paint through their grief, the idea of the Umbrella was born.
The umbrella is all inclusive and does not discriminate. It accepts everyone under it for protection, no matter the race, religion, age, gender, or color. The umbrella requires action on the part of the individual. It has to be picked up, opened up and held up to provide the protection that it can offer. The underside of the umbrella represents fears and grief, the top of the umbrella represents hopes and dreams. The shaft of the umbrella represents the universal energy which leads to the spokes that represent the individual's strengths. The sections of the umbrella can represent something different to each participant; family, friends, religion, education, and more. The painting of the umbrella is an empowering experience that allows the individual to express grief and fears and work through them. The painting of the umbrellas is a tangible manifestation of the concepts of peace, love, and hope in the individual's life.
Matt Lamb has become a globally recognized self-taught artist whose works have been shown in public and private collections worldwide. Internationally, Matt Lamb has received multiple awards and recognitions. Between the years 1980 and 2000, Lamb became involved and acknowledged by many groups and institutions. Matt Lamb recognitions during this time consist of: Being a Member on the Board of Directors of the Vatican Museum Rome Italy, Sir Matthew James Lamb Knight Grand Cross from the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, The North Central Lieutenant representing the north central part of the United States at the Grand Majesteriam Rome Italy, Recipient of the Order of the Chasqui from the people of Peru, Member of the Reial Cercle of Arts in Barcelona Spain, Treasurer of the Roman Catholic Church Extension Society, Man of the Year from Leo High School, Chicago, IL., President of the Advisory Board of Cook County Schools, Member of the Teamsters 727 for 60 years, President of the International Funeral Directors Association, Board of Directors of Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, IL., Board of Directors of Concordia Saving and Loan in Chicago, IL., Board of Directors of St. Xavier University, Chicago, IL., President of Oak Lawn, IL. Chamber of Commerce, Founder/ President of the Chulucanas Missions in Lima Peru, Founder /President of the Chulucanas Fellows, US and Peru, Honorary Augustinians from the Order of Augustinians and Bishop John McNabb, Award from the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), and being a Member of the National Business Conference Washington, D.C. under President Ronald Regan
In continuance, Matt Lamb was invested by order of Pope John Paul II into Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem for the second time in 1985. Also, in 1987, Matt Lamb was Invested by New York Archbishop John O'Conner into Association of the Master Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Matt Lamb was also named "Professional of the Year" award given by The Young Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago in 1991. Lamb received the Bronze Medal in the National Federation of French Culture's Deauville Exhibition in the year 1992. 1996 was the year Lamb was awarded Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by University of Saint Thomas, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2006 Lamb was awarded with the French Civic Star (a decoration installed by Napoleon for Heroic Efforts to French People), rarely is this award given to foreigners. Matt received it for his work with the gang leaders from the Parisian riots during 2005. Matt Lamb received the Royal Gold Medal for the Arts a decoration from the King of Spain in 2006, Matt is the first American artist to ever receive this award. Soon after in 2008, Lamb was awarded with the European Gold Cross, Agrupación Espanola de Fomento Europe's highest honor, for his efforts to promote peace throughout the world with Lamb Umbrellas for Peace. Also, in 2009, Matt Lamb received an Honorary Doctorate Degree at Bradford University, England.
Lamb's artwork has been shown and compared with artwork composed by legendary artists including: Chagall, Picasso, Miro, as well as Dali. Currently, in Museum of Private Art Collections: Featuring the Work of Dali and Lamb Museums, Salvador Dali and Matt Lamb artwork are being shown side by side in Barcelona, Spain, Chicago, Illinois, USA and soon in Galway, Ireland. His artwork has been addressed in ARTnews, The Times of London, and The Miami Herald, also including many others. He has had countless one-man shows throughout the world including innumerable significant locations, such as: The Westminster Cathedral in London, England, The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, The Centre-Picasso in Horta, Spain, The Vatican Museums of Modern Art in Rome, Italy, as well as several others.
Moreover, Matt Lambs one-man shows have been shown throughout the world since he first began painting. Some of his shows in 2007 took place at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, and at the Cathedral of Our Lady in Luxembourg City, Luxemburg. In 2008 Lamb had shows in: Weimar Germany, St. Helena CA., Union League Club Chicago IL., Napa Valley CA., Autobahn Racetrack Joliet IL., Greifswald Germany, Mendoza Argentina, Dublin Ireland, and City Hall in Ripoll Spain. Lamb also had many shows during 2009. These locations included: Grand Europe Hotel in St. Petersburg Russia, Art Institute of San Diego in San Diego CA., Galleria DiPadova in Healdsburg CA., Chicago IL., and Rumors East Restaurant in Nashville TN., Judy Saslow Gallery in Chicago IL., and the Museum of Private Art Collections: Featuring the Work of Dali and Lamb Museum in Barcelona Spain. Recently, in 2010 there have been many events so far and there are several more events planned to occur this year. The events that have recently taken place this year were at: NBC Tower in Chicago IL, in honor of Martin Luther King's speech "I have a Dream", Dallas Texas, Berlin Germany, Museum of Private Art Collections: Featuring the Work of Dali and Lamb in Chicago IL., Stage Chicago in Chicago IL. The Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre presented the Matt Lamb Tribute: Celebration of a Lifetime, Russian House in Berlin Germany, Schlosshotel in Grunewald Germany, and the Galerie ART CRU in Berlin Germany. In September of 2010, the Nashville Ballet will be hosting the opening of Matt Lamb's artwork exhibit at the First Gallery Martin Center in Nashville, TN. Also, in October 2010, there will be an exhibit of Matt Lamb's work at Gallery 7 in Joliet, IL.
In addition to Matt Lamb's life are his Museums. In particular, the Museum of Private Art Collections: Featuring the Work of Dali and Lamb holds special significance for Matt Lamb. Museums have been opening throughout the world since July 2009. The first museum opened in Barcelona, Spain and one has recently opened in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It has always been a dream of Matt's to have a US-based Matt Lamb Museum. With the support and efforts of our Museum Team in Spain, we have successfully completed this vision of Matt's and are continuing to launch several other museums in many other countries throughout the world. The Museum houses collections of artwork and personal memorabilia as well as providing a setting for art workshops, peace workshops, and conferences.
Matt Lamb's artwork and Umbrellas for Peace projects have touched the lives of countless individuals. His messages within his artwork have inspired the dreams and aspirations within the hearts and souls of infinite communities. His creative ways have encouraged countless individuals to stimulate their lives with peace, hope, love and tolerance. He has motivated so many individuals to become better people and continues to enthusiastically support them.