The events of 9/11 inspired many things, from charitable donations to a need to volunteer. But they also inspired a wealth of artwork documenting what transpired before, on and after 9/11. So many people were moved to create artwork in response to the 2001 attacks, from seasoned professionals seeking normalcy through creating art related to 9/11 to novice who created artwork for the first time as a way to sort through complex emotions.
To collect and archive this type of artwork, the 9/11 Memorial Museum launched the Artists Registry. As the curatorial assistant in charge of the registry, I enjoyed working with various artists filling the database with paintings and photographs, as well as poetry, songs and sculptures. The registry's artists are as diverse as the artwork. There's Todd Stone, a watercolor artist and lower Manhattan resident who witnessed the attacks, second-graders from St. John’s School in Houston and Kathleen Granados, a mixed-media artist and daughter of a man killed at the World Trade Center.
Granados is one of the most recent artists to join the registry. Her submission revolves around a pair of dusty shoes, each connected to a colorful streak resembling smoke. When I asked her how she discovered us, she said she learned about it from another registry artist, Sue Willis, who is also Granados' instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. The artwork stored in the registry represents the multifarious ways people worldwide were touched by 9/11. Since the registry's launch two summers ago, I’ve been excited to watch word about it spread around the artistic community. Each week, there’s a new surprise waiting for me on the registry.
Wouldn't you like to see the growing collection? Take a look at the registry today and add your own artwork.
By Adina Langer, Memorial Exhibition Manager/Curatorial Assistant for the 9/11 Memorial Museum