American 9/11 Exhibition Opens in Portadown
The Chief Executive of the Arts Council, Roisín McDonough, will tonight, 21st November, open an exhibition featuring the work of 68 contemporary American artists in the Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown.
True Colors: Meditations on the American Spirit is an artistic response to the events of September 11. The exhibition is organized by Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C., a prestigious Washington institution whose mission is the promotion of international understanding.
Ms McDonough was instrumental in bringing the exhibition to Northern Ireland. “America is a more diverse nation than any other, than any we can imagine. If the events of 9/11 did anything other than traumatize that nation and kill thousands of people, many of them from these islands, they made all of us look again at what America is, what it represents, how it is made up. We have had to begin to re-learn all we had ever assumed about those United States.”
“The artists here have started that process for us. They too found the need to re-assess, to revise, to recover and in some cases to re-assert what it means to be an American, let alone ‘an American artist’. The struggle with identity, the trials of a ‘national’ spirit, the tension between inclusiveness and difference – these are themes which will, I know, find echoes among our own artists.”
Many of the artists are internationally recognized, such as John Alexander, Herb Alpert, Will Barnet, Bruce Davidson, Richard Estes, Red Grooms, Everett Raymond Kinstler, Roy Lichtenstein, Sally Mann, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jamie Wyeth.
True Colors was extremely well received by both the Washington public and local, national and international press when it opened there in February 2002. The exhibition visited New York City in the summer of 2002 and was on view at the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey on September 11, 2002, subsequently moving to Ankara. Venues in Atlanta and Palm Beach followed, leading up to the present tour.
Many of the artists are from New York and were directly affected by the tragedy; others from different parts of the country, though not witness to the events, were nonetheless deeply affected.