by Rachel D. Vancelette, Italian Vogue

Yoko Ono receives 2010 Distinguished Service To The Visual Arts Award From Art Table. Because she “continues to provoke the future”

The 30th Anniversary honored Yoko Ono, avant-guard visionary and philanthropist for groundbreaking work in art, music and filmmaking, who has challenged all traditional boundaries in her long and prolific career. She was joined by curators Nora Halpern, who installed Anton’s Memory at Pallazzetto Tito, Bevilacqua la Masa Foundation in Venice at the 53rd Biennale, where Ono received the Golden Lion Prize for Lifetime Achievement; and curator Alexandre Monroe, organizer of YES YOKO ONO, her major retrospective. Always true to her belief that artists must be the metronome of society, her revolutionary contributions opened the way for other artists in all mediums of art, and today her influence is seen internationally in practically every arena of the arts. Her beginnings as a performer with the 60’s Fluxus group and experimental and collaborative work with John Lennon in the 70’s sowed the seeds leading to extraordinary achievements and dozens of awards, but she stays true to her own judgment which she admits is sometimes “a little out of sync” with others.

Art Table is dedicated to the visual arts and advancing women’s leadership in the field. 500 attendees mingled with recipients of the New Leadership Award Christine Y. Kim and Samin M. Momin. Other noted guests included Agnes Gund, Lila Harnett, Barbara London, Helen Stambler Neuberger, Stephanie French, Toby Devan Lewis, Sarah Lewis, Helaine Posner, Joy Glidden, Carol B. Mandelker, Diane Brown, Jan Rothschild, Randy Rosen and Lowery Stokes Sims. Performa Director RoseLee Goldberg delivered the keynote speech addressing Yoko Ono’s trailblazing workwhich continues to “provoke the future”. Yoko’s limited edition white buttons with “IMAGINE PEACE” were given to all in attendance.


ArtTable Award acceptance speech by Yoko Ono
April 16, 2010

A butterfly is hopping from flower to flower. Oh, good. I think. The butterfly is busybodying as usual.

We are like butterflies. We busybody ourselves every day for our survival as we think we know how. But the difference with us, is that we know we are not as innocent as the butterflies. We are about to ruin this planet we call ours through our stupidity.

Evil often presents itself to us as an illusion of goodness. So by being confused, instead of freeing ourselves from it, we could be destroyed by it. To protect ourselves, each one of us must clearly see what Evil really is. Evil is only a dis-ease (disease) created by confused minds, which eventually disappears by its own steam. But it can do so much harm before it self-destructs. So we must do something to counteract it NOW.

Luckily, there are so many of us in the world, who are now awakened, ready to act to save our world.

So let’s work together to save this planet. Since destiny is created by first imaging what destiny we want for ourselves, we should IMAGINE PEACE in a big way with total conviction. In the old days, gurus sat and meditated day and night. That was pretty powerful. But we live in a different world. Time is so precious to us now. A million kids can be killed in one second as we are wondering what to do. So we can’t just sit and meditate. We should IMAGINE PEACE day and night, as we go about our daily lives.

Yes. One thing that is interesting is you cannot be violent while you are imagining peace.
 If all of us in the world imagined peace at all times, there will be no dis-ease (disease) in the world. In fact, dis-ease will disappear from this planet altogether.

We should focus on healing the world we have destroyed, by asking our healing power to come out.
 Our intent of healing will start to show it’s power by just asking for it.
 When all of us in the world ask the world to be healed, it will be.

Know that it is that simple.
 We are all connected.
 We affect each other right away.
 We affect each other even when we are in fear, confusion, anger, wanting to destroy the world and help to increase the dis-ease.
 That’s how strongly connected we are.

Let’s start thinking what you can do, knowing that we are standing in the midst of an incredible disaster created by us, the human race. It is so bad that the farmers, who are providing what we eat, are being bankrupted for not complying to the ways of greedy corporate needs, losing their ancestral lands…some of them even committing suicide. The saddest thing is that so many children are sexually abused, sold for human parts and die or perish before their teens.

Please take a good look at what is happening around you. You might feel anger, fear, and hopelessness. But don’t make a move until you changed your negative energy to pure energy of getting the work done with love. Is that possible? Well, it has to be.

The Universe will be affected immediately as you start to think in the right way to correct the dis-ease in our world.

Send your message through the internet of how you love life and why. Because the people on the internet are also your family. 
If you keep meditating in your mind – not giving yourself the luxury of making a special sit-in meditation, but doing what you can do to change the world, if you did that for three months you will see the difference in your life and even a difference in our planet. Thus, we will be making a quiet revolution together.

Just do what you can do. Nothing more. 
By that, you will be starting the wheels of goodness to turn.

Something especially wonderful was told to me just recently. Two scientists who were researching the effect of waves in the ocean for two years, came to the conclusion that the smallest stimulus to the water be it a drop of a pebble, or a child splashing the water at the shore, affects the whole ocean, each time. Well, I thought we do affect each other on land, but I hadn’t realized that that was true in the ocean as well! What a blessing! Nature is making things so easy for us!

So now I call ourselves the small pebble people. Send small pebbles to the world. Don’t make big splashes with large stones. That will attract people and the wrong people as well. Our quiet revolution will not make announcements, but one day will be accepted by all people as the norm of life. The human race has done that with many things. Like we wanted to fly, and invented aeroplanes. We wanted to see the other side of the moon, and we have. This time, we want to heal our planet, and bring peace to this world. We will.

I am now starting to miss the butterflies. Where are they now? There were many. But now there are only a few.

It’s time for you to start your own campaign today. You will see that it spreads and covers the world very fast, and meanwhile it will make you one of the small pebble people. Small pebble people are people who know that small pebbles, when they’re dropped in the ocean, will immediately affect the ocean of the whole wide world. Again, don’t throw big stones. It scares people and creates repercussions.

So we’ll just keep dropping small pebbles. Together. That’s how we will change the world. We change, and the world changes. Have trust in what you can do. Have trust in how fast we can change our world for the better. Why? Because we have to.

I would like to share an affirmation with you. Now say it in your mind with the firm belief that we are one, and together. We’ll make it.

In the name of truth, peace and love,
Our planet is healthy and whole.

We, the people of earth see clearly, hear clearly, think clearly,
Make the right judgement, right decision and the right move
For the benefit of us, our planet and the Universe.

We are now bathing in the light of dawn,
Standing in the heaven we have created together on this planet.

We wish to share this age of joy with all lives on earth,
As we are one,
United with infinite and eternal love.

For the highest good of all concerned, so be it.