Essex MA United States
The NPR announcer interrupted the music to say a plane had hit one of the World Trade Towers. Having lived within blocks of the Towers for years, I assumed it was a tourist plane flying too low. I had the bad luck to turn on CNN just as the second plane hit.
Frantically trying to reach Dan, my husband, at work, I watched the disaster worsen. The first tower fell; people were running for their lives. I was nearly hysterical by the time my husband called. One of Dan’s best friends worked in the Towers. Dan’s mother lived downtown and we couldn’t get through to her or any of our friends by phone.
The World Trade Towers had been my subway stop, with numerous little underground shops and a florist cart I had patronized. Artists in my loft building used to roller-skate with their kids in the evenings around the fountain off of Church Street. My husband had inspected Windows on the World, the restaurant at the Tower’s top. I had hand-lettered signs in both towers, including former Governor Mario Cuomo’s door. This was my neighborhood that was destroyed.
It took me two months before I could visit “Ground Zero.” Overwhelmed by tour buses, crowds and souvenir vendors, my friends and I walked towards the Hudson stepping over chunks of metal and debris. We wended our way through lesser-used streets, leaving tracks in the grey dust which coated everything.
Back home, my once-brown shoes were still covered with the ashes of everything and everyone incinerated on the 11th. Scraping my shoes with a palette knife I mixed the dust into my oil paint; I began painting what I had seen. Many weeks and tears later, I framed the painting in a plain pine box. The piece is entitled “Missing,” after the hundreds of heartbreaking signs posted at the site by people searching for loved ones. I painted my own likeness on one of the signs because I knew that as for so many others, part of my life had vanished forever.
B.J. Wayne was an abstract artist in the late 70s and 80s. She lived in Tribeca, in Manhattan, and showed in Soho. A series of drawings she made inspired her to begin writing music for a multi-media show. This lead to an eventual departure from abstract art and more immersion in perfor-mance and music.
In the recent past, B.J. has returned to art as a figurative, animal and landscape painter. She has studied with Boston School of Art artists Robert Cormier and David Curtis in Gloucester, with Cape Ann artist Jeff Weaver, with world-famous N.Y. artist Burton Silverman and with Cindy MacMillan at the Academy of Realist Art-Boston. She is a member of both the Rockport Art Association and the North Shore Art Association. B.J.'s work can be seen in Eventide Gallery in Essex, MA.
• Master of Fine Arts, Maryland Institute of Art
Selected List of Exhibitions & Galleries
• American Academy of Equine Art, Lexington, KY-Sept. 2006
• Allied Artists of America (exhibit at the National Arts Club-NYC-Nov. 2006)
• Masters of Foxhounds Association of America Traveling
Art Exhibition. Organized by Cross Gate Gallery in
Lexington, KY – Throughout 2007.
• Rockport Art Association, 2003-2011
• North Shore Art Association, 2003-2011
• Walsingham Gallery, Newburyport, MA
• Montague Gallery, Concord, MA
• Francesca Anderson Fine Art, Lexington, MA
• Kennedy Gallery, Portsmouth, NH - 2011
• The Art Parlour – Gloucester, MA – 2011
• Rocky Neck Gallery (summer quest artist) Gloucester, MA – 2011
• Burton Silverman
• David Curtis
• Robert Cormier
• Jeff Weaver
• Cindy MacMillan, Academy of Realist Art-Boston
• Wholesale Art Supplies Award (North Shore Art Association 2008)
• Shirley Holden Helberg Grant (2010)