Friday, February 27, 2015

#tbt: the story of 'dear jeff . . . '


note: photo is above the fold :)

I seems only appropriate to share the story behind my sculpture, 'dear jeff . . . ' as it is featured in yesterday's art section of the Boston Globe! (lick here to go to the Globe's site)
photo by Rrea Brown Photography during a photography workshop led by
David Lee Black, where 'dear jeff . . . ' was one of the models.
The story of 'dear jeff . . . '
 This dress is a commissioned sculpture for a man, Jeff,  who lost his fiancĂ©e in the events of 9/11/2001.  She had flown to New York early that morning to attend a business breakfast at the Windows of the World restaurant.  

On the 10 year anniversary of this tragedy Jeff felt that it was time to let go of his box of memories.  He contacted me and asked me if I could create something from his collection of letters and cards and remnants from the tragedy. I was honored to have been asked and accepted the task.

Jeff handed me a large box full of letters; notes between the couple during college, cards of encouragement for new jobs, the announcement about their engagement, articles about 9/11, the missing person flyers, and then an abundance of condolences cards, from friends, family, coworkers, communities and even strangers. These communiques played a huge role is Jeff's recovery; the power of a caring community.

When Jeff approached me, he didn't want a memorial of his fiancĂ©e and her death. He wanted a sculpture that would portray the importance of community, and the positive growth that can come through adversity, as well as a celebration of Amy's spirit.  The essence of this dress is similiar to the story of the phoenix, who rises  from the ashes renewed after apparent disaster or destruction.  peace


There is so much I can say about this dress and the experience I have had making it and exhibiting it. This sculpture is a true testimony to the power of art!!!  I have witnessed victims of the attacks meet over the dress and console each other and I have been told that the dress has helped others to heal a bit from this horrific tragedy.  

I am very honored to have been given this task of working with such emotional, heart-wrenching and powerful materials and I am truly grateful to Jeff for sharing his memories and his story with me, allowing me to share the story of love, loss and recovery with a larger audience.

'dear jeff . . .' is part of the breath-taking exhibit, "Forever & After" at 
the South Shore Art Center through April 4th.  

peace, va

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