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11 September 2012

Remembering 9-11 : Expression through Art

Seeing the images of the events of 9-11-2001, I recall the morning that I learned about the attacks and my sadness and heartbreak in the days thereafter.  I painted several paintings in response to the event and I remember each of them and the buyers who acquired them.  The artwork was my way of expressing myself when words alone were not enough. I not only created several paintings on behalf of charity in the days and weeks following 9-11, but I also bought several tribute paintings that other artists were creating for the American Red Cross, United Way and other like organizations.  Tomorrow, I will post images of the other pieces that I acquired and the messages included with the pieces. Each artist, in their own way, captured a moment in time and a sentiment that was likely felt by many on that devastating day. Many of the pieces revolved around the American Flag, Patriotism and optimism that brighter days lay ahead. Others paid tribute to the heroes of the day and the strength of Americans to overcome no matter how strong the feeling of despair.

The first painting that I did in response to the tragic events of September 11 was "Angels of September".

Angels of September (c) 2001 - Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com
I tried to capture within a single painting the feelings felt by many Americans. The feelings of anguish, heartbreak, sadness and despair and yet a slight feeling of optimism that we will be protected. Here four angels gather and hold the earth in their hands. Shattered buildings and an American flag serve as a background. The feeling of being broken, but still there.....able to be put back together.


Shortly thereafter, I painted "Our Lady Liberty" - a tribute to Americans and New Yorkers, in particular, who showed amazing courage and strength in the face of such amazing destruction and tragedy.
Our Lady Liberty (c)2001, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com
"Our Lady Liberty" shows the statue of liberty with buildings and sections of the American flag in the background. I think the painting captures the initial 'shattered' feeling that may of us had after seeing and hearing about the events of 9-11, but the image of lady liberty standing strong and complete, gives a sense of optimism and pride.

Two small pieces I created in September 2001 with the titles "There are Angels Among Us". A crowd of bold, modern faces some with halos atop their head to capture they feeling that we walk among angels.
There Are Angels Among Us (c) 2001, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

The second was a character dog that I had created named "Angus". I had a series of paintings using this dog and this was one I did for charity.
There R Angelz Among Us (c) 2001, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com


On the one-year anniversary of September 11, I painted "United Fur Peace" - a brighter, more cheerful, painting that showed a group of furry friends (cats and dogs) around the Statue of Liberty. A year before, I had painted "Angels of September" which represented the sorrow and despair felt by those affected by the tragic events of 9-11. With "United Fur Peace" I wanted to capture the optimism that we shared a year later. The animals alongside the statue of liberty with the American flag as the background shows the unity and strength that many Americans shared one year after 9-11.
United Fur Peace (c)2002, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

On, or about, the 5th year Anniversary of 9-11, I took headlines from newspapers that I have been saving over the years.  I used the headlines within the painting to create buildings, skyscrapers and other shapes characteristic of a busy urban setting.  The headlines shown through the layers of paint providing a constant reminder of where we were, where we are, and where we are heading. It was a large, dramatic abstract that captures the many feelings felt from 2001-2006.  At the time of writing this blog post, I could not locate an image showing this painting.  The original was sold for charity and I hope the business that purchased the piece has it displayed proudly.

I know there were a few other, smaller pieces that I painted in memory of the events of September 11. If I find a copy of them, I will post them in the blog.

If time permits tomorrow, I will upload images of the various paintings that I purchased back in 2001 from artists who were helping to raise funds for the 9-11 victims and their families.

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To those who lost their lives on that day, to the heroes who worked endlessly to search for survivors and to the families who lost loved ones - You are always in our hearts. Your loved ones may be gone, but they are certainly not forgotten. May we all remain United For Peace.

Originally posted 9/10/11 for the 10-year anniversary.

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