Photo credit: 9/11 Memorial staff
Accession Number: C.2016.88.37
Dimensions: 12 in X 11.875 in
Dimensions (Metric): 30.48 cm X 30.1625 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Nilda Mesa and the Unity Canvas artists, in honor of the 9/11 victims, families, first responders, and all who seek peace
Painting on canvas created by Kristin Gjerdset of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The painting is part of the Unity Canvas project and depicts a forest of red-leaf trees against a blue sky. Handwritten text along the border reads: "The use of red, white and blue is a symbol for our flag. The trees represent the coming together of people in our nation, just as the roots of trees bind together with one another in a forest to help each one stand tall and strong. Dedicated to the victims of September 11, 2001 and the survivors." The artist has signed and dated the lower right corner, and the title "Community" is in the lower left corner.
New York City artist Nilda Mesa organized the Unity Canvas as a collective response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. While shaken by 9/11, Mesa felt it was important to give fellow artists an opportunity to express their reactions to the tragedy. She issued a call for canvases, each measuring 12 inches by 12 inches, to become part of an art installation. After receiving around 300 pieces, she assembled them into the Unity Canvas, which was displayed in Brooklyn on the first anniversary of 9/11.