Saturday, August 6, 2011

DISCREPANCY: living between war and peace Opening


What a night is was!  The show looked amazing.  Elegant.  Powerful.  Beautiful.  There were artist statements with the work, so the intention and heart of the artist was clear.  And the crowd responded.  My print, Ten, One Thousand, about the people who fell from the World Trade Center on 9/11, really touched people.  More than that really.  Strangers and friends came up to me to tell me how moved they were.  Some came to me crying after having just seen it.  I cried with them.  It is a feeling like no other to move people, to share the intent.  They understood.  They knew.  And they appreciated it.  It was a very emotional evening. 

The entire show was cohesive.  Every artist had a personal point of view of what it meant to live between war and peace and how it tied back to their regular artist practices.  The curator, my sister Nancy Willis, had a vision, born out of her own work, trying to reconcile living in the beautiful Napa Valley with images of conflict from the news.  She invited artists to create work that looked specifically at the rituals of daily life in relation to three events, the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The work varied in media, size and dimension but it all tied into Nancy’s vision.  People noticed.  One woman remarked that she hadn’t expected it to be so strong.  “This is BIG!” 
Nancy and Wendy Willis
From her Curator’s Statement Nancy said, “I believe in the power of art to make a difference in people’s lives.  In a climate that seems propelled by divisiveness, art can be a powerful tool to remind us that we are all human and there is always more below the surface of what we see.”  I saw this to be true last night.  One woman told me she would be forever changed because of my print.  You just can’t ask for anything more than that.

The Napa Valley Museum just posted 59 photos from the reception last night on their Facebook page.  I will be uploading photos to my Flickr page later of more empty museum shots, some reception images and close ups of each piece.

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