Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dona Nobis Pacem

As the old Melanie song goes, "There's a chance peace will come in your life, please buy one." Peace came in my life and it was FREE! Gratis, thanks to an art project by Nicaraguan-born artist Franck de Las Mercedes.  This is my very first Blog Blast for Peace, although I've used this platform to write about TW and Pop's involvement with the Peace Movement, going back to their childhood. This post, however, isn't about them. I thought I'd revisit the Peace Box Project aka Priority Box Project, which is still going strong a year after I originally wrote about it. You can read the post in the tab at the top of the page or here. While you're reading, you can listen to songs of peace by clicking on the widget on the sidebar.

CK with her Peace Box
"The Priority Boxes Art Series" started in 2006, during the height of the Iraqi war to spark dialogue and challenge people to reconsider their ability to influence change and question the fragility, value and priority given to concepts such as peace. Mr. de Las Mercedes personally paints boxes on the outside, turning them into miniature works of art, addresses them and includes stickers that read "FRAGILE. HANDLE WITH CARE. Contains: Peace" or one of about 20 other words. They're free, to remind us that peace and hope are not only free but also a priority. On his Facebook page, you can see a sampling of some of the close to 10,000 boxes he's mailed out for free to more than 70 countries worldwide. The little kitty's picture is in there too!

The first boxes were sent to friends and then he placed an ad on Craig's List, to which he received over 100 responses. Since then, Mr. de Las Mercedes and the Project have received much media coverage and has just celebrated its 5th anniversary. Because of the volume of requests, it can take four to eight weeks to receive a box within the U.S., and up to 10 months outside of it.

The series is funded by the artist, contributions and "Handle with Care" T-shirt sales. He hasn't been willing to accept a sponsorship that would brand his boxes.  Keeping them free "sends a message that there are some things you can't put a price on, like peace, joy, hope, justice."

Peace flyer. Click to enlarge
On the left is a sample of the Peace Flyers Project, which was launched in January. The concept is you can make a difference in your community by printing and posting one or more of these flyers for all to see, and take a symbol of Peace and Hope with them. You can download them as Word documents or jpegs from his web site.

Mr. de Las Mercedes' art isn't limited to the Priority Box Project. He's an incredibly talented abstract artist in his own right, as you can see from the collage below.

For interested classrooms or companies, Mr. de Las Mercedes is giving Priority Boxes Workshops. Please contact

To request a "Priority Box," send an e-mail to Please include your name, address and tell them you read about the boxes on this blog. Only ONE box will be sent per requester/e-mail. No, it's not cool to send for another one from a different e-mail cos that would be something a Republican would do. HAH! Everyone who requests one will definitely get one and Mr. de Las Mercedes would love to see pictures when your box arrives.

If you don't like to wait, for a $25 contribution, your 5 x 5 x 5 box will ship within a week of order. Proceeds help the artist cover the project's costs for shipping and supplies.

You can own a work of art for the asking. Art is not solely for the 1%. Now we, the 99%, can also enjoy it, thanks to The Priority Box Project.


  1. Wow. What a cool guy. This was quite a story, CK!

    TW is quite the veteran of the Vietnam-era protests, having started college in 1968. To be honest, she might have spent more time marching than going to class some semesters.


  2. Love your BlogBlast picture, it is fantastic. When we first found your blog one of the first things we read about was the story of the peace boxes (we still have to send for one). Cool project and artist. Great post.
    "Dona Nobis Pacem"

  3. I love how there are so many different, creative ways to spread peace!

  4. Totally purrfect! Peace to all species everywhere!

  5. We love you picture with CK on the flag. What a great story about Mr. deLas Mercedes. He must be quite a guy. We will have to send for a box. Thanks for this terrific peace day post. Take care.

  6. Love your peace globe. Very imaginative. :)

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this with us on BlogBlast for Peace!

    Great post!

  8. What a cool project! I love the idea of the impression the box makes on everyone that handles it or even just sees it on it way from the generous artist to the recipient. Amazing.
    xo Glogirly

  9. What a cool project !
    Purring for love and peace for efurryone !

  10. I love your peace globe. What a wonderful man Mr. de Las Mercedes must be. Thank you for sharing this with us. Peace be with you today and every day.

  11. Very cool! That is such a wonderful project! I have enjoyed your other blogs about the boxes as well. What a great way to have art for a cause!! That comment you left us was so great, too - especially about the Occupy Wall Street protester who fell in love with the medic who teated her!

  12. Sorreez I am so late tonight--my Human has so much lazy it is downright shameful. She got some DVDs from Netflix and she very stubbornly refused to help me visit. Hrumph. So much for her purrformance review!

    Oh, sometimes I refer to her as The Woman (or just TW) but I actually prefer 'the Human' because it somehow draws a better distinction between us and THEM. Ha ha ha!

    Happy Caturday, dearest!

  13. Peace to you and yours my friend. -Rumpy

  14. Ah, CK! I feel badz that kittehs thought I was sick! My Human forgetz that most poeple are not as old as dirt like her! I would not DREAM of missing our Big Night!

  15. Great job CK. I remember your other post for a couple of years ago, or maybe it was only last year. What a cool guy that artist is, and what a great thing to start. I'm afraid the day came and went before we even realized we missed it.

  16. Oh MY! You have a conquest. xoxox He's the best. You couldn't have done better.

  17. I love the peace box. Peace to you and your family & friends.

  18. I can't wait to hear your speech, my dearest. I'll bet it will be a shocker to all those bourgesie bourgwazee bourgeosi ordinary people.

  19. Well, on lots of days the Human WOULD still be working but Friday is the Veteran's Day Holiday! So she should be home to help me tune in--but that's earlier than our Date Day. Is this sumfing diffurrent?

  20. What a fantastic idea the peace box is! I love the idea of sharing things for free. I only know of one other similar 'project', and that's something sassa of Peace Rocks! She paints the peace sign on lots of pebbles, and just leaves them all over the place for folk to's also such a cool idea!! :-D

    Peace to you and yours

    [your peace post will soon be linked into the patchwork peace quilt on my blog 'Peace Bloggers Unite' ]


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