This archived article was written by: staff
College of Eastern Utah’s Gallery East is hosting a memorial exhibit of prints commemorating the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks during the month of February.
The powerful exhibit, containing 440 individual prints, represents artwork from the American Print Alliance. Eleven countries are represented in the artwork including artists from the United States and Canada.
The idea for the exhibit came from the American Print Alliance’s director Carol Pulin. She came back from a print conference in Prince Edward Island two weeks after September 11, 2001 and noted that people had hung flags on overpasses all along the interstates and these people were generally quiet, sad and angry.
Still in shock over the more than 6,000 new victims of terrorism, she decided to ask the 6,000 members of the American Print Alliance to not only offer a prayer and commitment to peace and tolerance, but to ask each artist to create one small work of art to commemorate one person. The number will be approximately the same as the people lost in this attack. The works can be slipped into sheet protectors and the whole could be hung in a grid down a very long hallway.
What came to pass is a “memorial portfolio to help us comprehend the loss of so many individual lives. The Vietnam memorial is eloquent and moving because we read names and, even if we don’t recognize any of them, we recognize common first names and last names and see ‘juniors’ and such. They were mostly soldiers and it seems appropriate that the names are carved alike, as in traditional war memorials that stand in town squares around the world.
“I haven’t been to the Oklahoma City memorial for the Murrah Building victims, but have seen photos or the chairs, all facing the same way, scattered in groups. Some are small chairs for children, but they are otherwise stylized and alike. Although it is a terribly large number, I think one can grasp 168.
“But thousands of people – these artworks have to be different, individual images for the concept to be effective. People need to be drawn to certain pictures; some will spend time with those portraying a face, others will find meaning in abstract colors. As viewers walk along, they will stop and think, intrigued by various faces in the crowd. To convey the sheer number and the individuality of each life is the challenge,” Pulin wrote.
Each artist contributing to the exhibit was not assigned a person to commemorate – rather than to create an image celebrating a life. Among the victims were people from all races, ages, faiths, and at least 80 nationalities.
Portions of the historic exhibit are being displayed in galleries throughout the U.S. Gallery East hosts the exhibit in February and is located in the northwest end of the old Student Activity Center on the CEU campus. Hours are weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the exhibit is free and open to the public. Extended or after hour viewings can be made by calling Brent Haddock at 613-5225.