Can we work for justice while strengthening our unity? Can we build bonds of friendship with people on all “sides” while defending victims of oppression? Can we be righteous while not seeing anyone as “the other”? Looking around us, do we see examples of this perfect blend of justice and unity in our society today? There was a man who lived 100 years ago who fully embodied these principles and walked this path of servitude to all. His name was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and Bahá’ís around the world view him as the perfect example of the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh—that humanity is one, that peace is unattainable until our unity is firmly established, that justice is the best-beloved of all things in the sight of God, and that we are here to serve one another.
Green Acre has been engaging with social justice issues through a series of art shows entitled Explore Justice Through Beauty. The next in this series takes a slightly unique angle by focusing on the reality of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—the principles He embodied, the justice He championed, the unity He promoted and the service He rendered. We ask you, artists who may already love ‘Abdu’l-Bahá greatly or who may be hearing about Him for the first time, to profoundly reflect on His life—what He stood for and labored for—and to use your talents to bring this to life through a myriad means of artistic expressions.
But why here and why now? ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited Green Acre and the town of Eliot, Maine, in 1912 and had an immense impact on this land that many of us are currently only dimly aware of. This year, 2021, also marks the 100th anniversary of His passing. This show provides us an opportunity to profoundly reflect on His life and what He stood for, at a time when the world desperately needs more examples of justice, unity, and service.