Finding Beauty in the Clouds

Finding Beauty in the Clouds

“Eternal Rest” on display in the “Rendering the Unthinkable” exhibition at the 9/11 Memorial Museum

Artist Donna Levinstone has always been drawn to clouds, for her they symbolize hope and have been a big part of her work. On Sept. 11, Levinstone was in her studio on the Upper East Side and witnessed one plane and then another crash into the World Trade Center. Struck with the enormity of 9/11, Levinstone found herself unable to create.

When she was asked for be part of an art show exploring representations of the America spirit, Levinstone set out to create a simple image of the Twin Towers, but the process led to an exploration of the events of the day. She was drawn once again to clouds, both atmospheric clouds and clouds of smoke and dust that rose up from the destruction.

"The smoke cloud that enveloped these people was created by a disaster,” said Levinstone of the series of pastels she created in late 2001 and 2002.“Yet, in my drawing a light emerges as a message from above—a spiritual guardian, guiding these souls to eternal peace.”

Using handmade pastels, she created landscapes that border photo-realism. The series, “Eternal Rest” is now on view in the “Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11” exhibition at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. In the below video, Donna talks about her work and how it relates to 9/11.

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