About the Artist
ABOUT BRIAN BERMAN
Born in New York in 1949, Brian was deeply affected as a child when viewing images of the Holocaust, wondering through a child’s eyes, WHY? All people are part of the human race, no differences under the skin. It wasn’t until 2002 when he was facilitating a Jewish German Reconciliation Project in Germany, that he realized Hitler had made him, inadvertently, a peace-maker. In 1969, he was trained as a peace marshal by a Quaker group to hold the peace during the Moratorium March in Washington DC. Through a series of violent events, he turned his attention inwards to find the source of peace. In 1970, Berman studied yoga and meditation and began teaching for the Integral Yoga Institute.
How Brian became an Artist for Peace
In 1988, Brian began Citizen Diplomacy work in Russia, and attended the International Peace Marathon in Moscow. He returned to the US after being with people from over 70 nations running a marathon for peace. He began lecturing on the vision of our one global family working for peace.
In 1989, Berman joined the NGO Global Family and went back to Russia teaching meditation. In June of that year, he helped facilitate with Global Family, “Seeking the True Meaning of Peace”, hosted by the Costa Rican government and the United Nations, in San Jose, Costa Rica. The 14th Dalai Lama, and 700 other peace builders attended this conference.
After a failed business partnership in 1991, he took up stone carving as a way to share time with his teenage son and deal with his grief and loss. He found a great passion for sculpting. He embraced stone carving as a metaphor for removing unwanted habits, behaviors as well as identifications which no longer served his growth. As one of the great masters Michelangelo stated, “I just remove what is not the sculpture.” He observed and experienced his connection with his artwork as a psychological alchemy and healing his losses. As his sculptures came into form, he was able to express and release deeply held beliefs and conditions. This was a great healing, and from this healing Brian experienced greater states of inner peace. His sculptures where mostly figurative forms from nature.
As the new millenium began, family losses and having to move from his home and studio, he felt the rug being pulled out from under him. As he returned to the stone for healing, he asked himself what would be the most important symbol for healing and he knew that it was the source of life within. The I AM sculpture series began at this time and has been a continuous theme for the last 15 years.
Following 9/11, Berman started a listening group in his community to facilitate building listening skills for conflict resolution and inner peace. In 2002, he was invited by the director of The Compassionate Listening Project to travel to Germany to facilitate a group of Jews and Germans help heal the emotional wounds resulting from World War II and the Holocaust. As a Compassionate Listening facilitator and the former co-director and facilitator of the Jewish-German Reconciliation Project, Berman’s CL work centered on reconciliation and healing the wounds of war. This led to the sculpture series he refers to as Genesis. Genesis began after experiencing the reconciliation of people divided by war through our project. He met his wife Lisa in Germany during the first JGP. Together they facilitate healing and reconciliation workshops in the US and Europe. The Art of Listening – is a transformational skills building workshop for building peace. Berman is trained in Hakomi Therapy, Attitudinal Healing, and taught yoga and meditation for many years. He is an award-winning sculptor and teacher. The theme of his artwork is “Art for Peace.” Through his HOLOS sculpture design which symbolizes our One Humanity, a small group of friends worked together creating a peace building culture in his home community. April 14, 2015, the mayor and city council of Ojai, CA declared and issued a proclamation that Ojai is an International City of Peace.