One of my favorite sculptures I created after the Salt Lake City memorial was placed, is this one titled 'Joy 11' It is dedicated to all the children lost in 9/11 and the ones left behind after their loved ones perished on that day. There were 8 children who died on 9/11 and all were on 2 of the planes. Flight 175 children were, Christine Lee Hanson, 2 years old, David Gamboa-Brandhurst, 3 years old, and Juliana Valentine McCourt, 4 years old. The Flight 77 children were Bernard Curtis Brown II, 11 years old, Asia Cottom, 11 years old and Rodney Dickens also 11 years old. Finally there were two sisters, Dana Falkenberg, 3 years old and Zoe Falkenberg, 8 years old. Many other children have been left behind as their relatives perished on that day.
In order for me to do my part, I got the idea to make this sculpture with children's drawings depicted on its surface, to look like the many ancient petroglyphs I have seen in the United States mainland, the Island of Hawaii and in Canada. I thought that I could represent 4 different age groups of children's drawings on all sides. So what better little artists could I pick but my own grand kids and Kay Krapf's grand kids. I had them all let me know what were their favorite drawings and I replicated those onto the concrete and then routed them out, and finished them off with oil paint to represent a kind of crayon like drawings in the concrete.
My grand daughter Emmie, shown here, picked out her drawings of a self portrait done in blue and red and a large purple caterpillar in purple, complete with eyelashes and a tail. Then my grandson Luke came to my studio and drew Darth Vader's Helmet and Yoda. Next my other grand daughter Ellie, gave me drawings of African animals done in triangles, squares and circles. Then Kay Krapf's grand daughters Kailey and Elizabeth gave me photos of a little girl showing a peace sign and a 2001 graduation scroll and cap. Kay's grandson Daniel gave me a drawing of a circular design, complete with a boy inside a fence, buildings and a movie camera, in the most detail. All the kids drawings range from age 3 to 17 years old. I love this sculpture.
It seems to be most peoples favorite right now as they come to visit the circle of pieces I am working on at my new studio. Ellie, Emmie and Luke, want me to keep this one in the State of Florida. I think I might be finding a home here, just to keep it close to us.
To bring children into this project is great. They give a different perspective to the process and make me think of remembering 9/11 through our future generations of youngsters growing up. If this one piece could do that, Joy 11 will live on for all to reflect upon.
I am proud of my grand children and Kay's. They are fine young people, making their way in this world through laughter and innocent spirits.
I only hope that the 8 children can somehow know this memorial is for them. As you get the chance to come out to the studio and see this one, I hope you can also hear the childlike laughter I hear every time I am around it.