Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018
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Artists remember 9/11 through their works

Gibsonburg residents will unveil a memorial piece

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    Gibsonburg, Ohio, sculptor Jim Havens created a 9/11 memorial piece that includes an antenna from the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

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    ‘Lenape,’ by Donald Martiny is part of ‘Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/​11,’ which opens Monday at the 9/11 museum in New York City.


Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the unthinkable horror that changed this nation forever.

Since the 9/​11 terrorist attacks, artists have expressed themselves across the nation through pieces that often include remnants from that day.

In New York City, art is prevalent both in the rebuilt One World Trade Center complex, and in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, where an art exhibition opens Monday.

Locally, Gibsonburg, Ohio, residents will unveil a memorial piece by village sculptor Jim Havens that includes an antenna from the North Tower of the World Trade Center after the towers fell to the ground. It was donated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The bent and twisted iron antenna, which is more than 35-feet long and weighs about 7,000 pounds, has been installed to lean against the sculpture piece, a model of the World Trade Center that stands 17.76 feet high and is a scale representative of the rebuilt trade center’s 1,776-foot height.

Village resident Dan Slack, who is a truck driver, brought the antenna home to the village in June. He was stuck in traffic on the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 11, 2001, and watched the towers fall, said Karen Havens, the sculptor’s wife.

The stainless steel sculpture represents rebirth and resurrection, Havens said. It is the centerpiece of a 9/​11 memorial being dedicated during a ceremony at Williams Park in the village at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Public Safety Peace Memorial will be a permanent fixture in the park.

The Gibsonburg sculpture is just one of so, so many artistic interpretations of a country scarred by what happened a decade and a half ago, but rebuilding and always hopeful since.

At the 9/​11 museum in New York City, an exhibition titled Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/​11 opens Monday. The show is a collection of reactions to the attacks by 13 artists, many of whom used remnants from the fallen towers and the aftermath in their work. Mediums include paintings, sculpture, video, and works on paper.

And in the lobby of the rebuilt One World Trade Center, visitors and employees are taking in the work of New York native Donald Martiny, who was commissioned to do two large pieces for the interior of the building.

Martiny, an abstract expressionist who hand-blends polymers and pigments to make 3-D pieces, created Unami, a 12-foot-by-12-foot piece, and Lenape, which is 10 feet by 15 feet in size. 

Martiny worked in the new trade center building’s lobby for two months to put be able to put together the extremely large pieces, which have been permanently installed in the WTC south lobby, his spokesman Steve Vitoff said.

For more information on the Gibsonburg memorial, call the village at 419-637-2634. 

For more information on the 9/​11 museum, go to 911memorial.org/exhibitions. For more information on Martiny and his work, go to donaldmartiny.com/​blog.

■ There will be an opening reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. today at the Paula Brown Gallery for a local artist whose graphic design experience has morphed into the fine arts scene.

A show of the works of Dan Weeks, which in recent years has been work in furniture design and print media, will run at the downtown gallery, 912 Monroe St., through Oct. 28.

Weeks was born and raised in Chicago, and cultivated a profession in graphic design, moving to Toledo to take a position with the advertising department at Owens Illinois, and opening his own gallery in Toledo, according to a news release from the gallery. He has been using that background to break into the fine arts world, with pieces that start from graphic design but are manipulated by the artist.

For more information, go to paulabrowngallery.com.

■ The Toledo Museum of Art is hosting a reading and multimedia presentation Friday that will spotlight the life of sports legacy Muhammad Ali.


Ali: Tribute to an American Hero is part of the museum’s It’s Friday series, and will be performed at 6 p.m. in the Little Theater. It is being put on by the New Works Writers Series.

Ali: Tribute to an American Hero takes a look at his legacy as a superior athlete, but also as a human who impacted the world through many things he did outside the boxing ring,” said Imelda Hunt , the founder of New Works Writers Series .

Ali died June 3 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

New Works is a nonprofit in Toledo that showcases local writers, actors, and other artists through plays, publications, and other performances.

For more information, go to newworkswritersseries.org.

Send news of art items at least two weeks in advance to rgedert@theblade.com or call 419-724-6075.

Contact Roberta Gedert at: rgedert@theblade.com or 419-724-6075 or on Twitter @RoGedert.

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