9/11-An artistic response

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was just getting to my studio space in the senior painting room at Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana, when I received a phone call from my husband. He said he had just had a call from our daughter, Katie, who lived and worked in Manhattan. She said that a plane had just hit one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and that she was ok. Katie's office was 14 blocks from the WTC. At that point, we had heard nothing about this incident. I called her immediately and her words to me were, "Mom, Mom, go home. Turn on the TV. Mom, this is big. Mom, people are running through the streets." There was a TV in someone's studio so we all gathered around and were unable to leave the spot. The teacher came by and told us to turn off the TV and get back to work. (I always wondered if she realized what she did that morning--but who could have known....) Students started leaving and I headed to the bookstore downstairs where there was another TV. By now, the second plane had hit. It was beginning to dawn on me that this was an attack on our wonderful city and our people and that my daughter was so close to this tragedy. (By this time, she had left her office and run all the way to her apartment in midtown from lower Manhattan.) A numbness had settled in and upon returning to my studio, I prepared to leave for home. I spotted a gessoed piece of paper tacked to the wall and in about 10 minutes I put down all my emotions of what I had witnessed on TV and on the phone with Katie and made the above painting. We were among the lucky parents who heard from their child before we heard the news ourselves and she was ok. I have thought so much about those parents and spouses who heard the news and couldn't get through, who had someone trapped in the building, or who never heard at all.


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