Sunday, September 11, 2011
An Artistic Observance of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 chronicles haunting past
Although none of the stories mention an actual connection to someone who was lost on 9/11, they all seem to conjure a sense of loss just the same.
HURST Where were you on September 11, 2001? This question is the basis for a new interactive exhibit An Artistic Observance of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 put together by the Tarrant County College Northeast Campus Art and English Departments.
Through about 25 pieces of visual art and prose, faculty participants recount their stories and feelings from 9/11. Viewers are also invited to take part in the observance by posting their own stories or comments on the response wall.
Walking into the exhibit, I immediately felt a sense of intimacy in the small venue. This feeling intensified as I begin to view the artwork. I felt a personal connection to each story and storyteller as I found similarities with my own memories of that day.
Suzanne Perez gives us one of the more powerful designs on display: a simplistic painting of the word "jump" in white on a sky blue backdrop, with streaks of white running through it like shadows of the fallen. Some of the most horrific images I remember seeing from that day were of people jumping from the upper floors of the World Trade Center towers. This painting brought back all those haunting memories with just a single word.
Another piece, one of three by Martha Gordon, shows a colorful Manhattan skyline surrounded by a gray shadowy sky and outlines of the missing twin towers. This piece seems to symbolize how our nation has tried to move on from this tragedy but cannot forget the ghosts of 9/11.
"Friendly Skies Above" by Paul Greco takes us inside the cockpit of an airplane during the first flight for two youngsters. The joy of a first ride quickly turns to tragedy. In the background, the twin towers are exploding. On the surface, this piece could symbolize the innocent lives lost on the planes that crashed on 9/11. To me, it was more about our country’s loss of innocence on that day.
Though the artistic pieces are very moving, surprisingly, the stories on the response wall stirred more emotion. Several writers were very young at the time. To them, it was just a normal school day until teachers started whispering in the halls and TVs were turned on in the classrooms. Through their tales, we can see how a whole generation was shaped by the impact of 9/11. Some tell how they were inspired to join the military or police force as a result.
Although none of the stories mention an actual connection to someone who was lost on 9/11, they all seem to conjure a sense of loss just the same. One story stated it best: “The events that took place on September 11, 2001, will haunt not only me, but so many more for the rest of our lives.”
Very few times in history has there been an event of such enormity that everyone remembers the answer to the question "Where were you?" Even 10 years after 9/11, the wounds feel fresh. There will be many widely publicized memorial events on the anniversary of 9/11, but most will be at the sites of the tragedies. The observance at Tarrant County College provides a way for people in the North Texas area to express thoughts, ideas, and memories of this shared experience with others locally.
The observance is a free exhibit that will run daily from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. through September 16 in the Communications Arts Building, NACB, room 1111. The Tarrant County College Northeast Campus is located at 828 W. Harwood Road in Hurst.
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