The Noble Maritime Collection presents Arc of Twenty Years, an exhibition independently curated by photographer Michael McWeeney and painter Sarah Yuster featuring art created in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.
The exhibition will be on view from August 12 to October 3, 2021 in the museum’s library. There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, August 11 from 6 to 8 PM.
Arc of Twenty Years will feature the work of Ghanim Khalil, Scott LoBaido, Diane Matyas, Ann Marie McDonnell, Michael McWeeney, Kristi Pfister, Marguerite Maria Rivas, and Sarah Yuster, all Staten Island artists. It is a multimedia exhibition about the emotional impact and socio-political changes on Staten Island after the attacks.
A lithograph featuring the World Trade Center by John A. Noble (1913-1983), the museum’s namesake, will also be included in the exhibition.
Curator Sarah Yuster states, “In the twenty years since 9/11, much of our populace has notably changed. The way we see ourselves and each other as individuals, as Americans, took a marked trajectory spurred by one event. The exhibition catalogues and explores major aspects of these permutations through art, photography, written word and short films.”
Ms. Yuster continues, “Staten Island is, in many ways, a microcosm of the United States in terms of ethnicities, economics, and ideologies. An immediate and long-term aftermath of that day rippled through the nation. The initial agony of three thousand innocent lives lost at once, the ensuing spasms of fury and fear were felt most intensely here. Empathy, camaraderie, selflessness and unity soared for weeks, galvanizing New Yorkers, but quickly dissipated into dissenting factions. The art and response from all factions will be displayed.”
Curator Michael McWeeney added, “This is not just a memorial; it’s a look at how we as a society have grown over the past 20 years. The artists take you through their personal stories and contemplate how all of our lives have been altered by the 9/11 attacks.”
Sarah Yuster’s painting The Firefighter, on loan from the Staten Island Children’s Museum, as well as three paintings depicting the changing skyline in Lower Manhattan from 1985 to 2014, will be on display.
“Witness,” a poem by Staten Island’s first Poet Laureate Marguerite Maria Rivas, will be featured in the exhibition. Rivas first wrote the poem as an email to a friend in Colorado immediately after the attacks, and it is now part of the National September 11th Museum’s online collection.
Ann Marie McDonnell contributed two bronze sculptures, The Missing and The Faithful, which honor the lives of those lost and the loved ones who mourn them.
Diane Matyas contributed a multimedia work incorporating a painting with an apron and napkin, which she made to honor the lives of the Windows on the World restaurant employees.
Scott LoBaido will exhibit a reproduction of an oil painting that he completed in the immediate aftermath of the attacks; it originally hung in Cargo Cafe in St. George, a local gathering place for the community at that time.
Kristi Pfister will display six paintings, five of which are on ceramic tiles, and one drawing completed in the aftermath of 9/11 depicting people in various states of digging and waiting, searching for answers.
Michael McWeeney will display a photograph of the Tribute in Light taken in March 2002, the first time those lights were lit, as well as a series of portraits with accompanying audio in the subjects’ own words about the Muslim experience after 9/11, as conceived by scholar Ghanim Khalil.
The John A. Noble lithograph Ghost of a Bygone Ferry will be on display from the museum’s collection. This print is his reaction to the passage of time and the decline of numerous ferry routes in New York Harbor by the 1970s; the Twin Towers, under construction, figure prominently in the background of the composition.
For more information about the exhibition, visit noblemaritime.org/arc-of-twenty-years.
This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and by a grant from the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.
The Noble Maritime Collection, located in a former mariners’ dormitory at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Building D, Staten Island, New York, is open from 12 until 5 PM, Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is by donation.
For more information about the museum, call (718) 447-6490 or visit noblemaritime.org.