Volume 16 • Issue 15 | September 9 - 15, 2003


World Trade Art Gallery
74 Trinity Place 212-619-5241
opening Sept. 11 and continuing through Sept. 20.
Reception Sept. 18, 6 to 9 pm.
Gallery hours: Mon. to Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On 9/11 anniversary, local artists focus on “Restoration”

By Sharon Hartwick

Downtown Express photos by Ramin Talaie

Debra Murrow, a Battery Park City resident, one of several artists whose work is showing at the World Trade Art Gallery, located behind Trinity Church

An inspiring and eclectic exhibition of paintings opens this week at the World Trade Art Gallery across from Trinity Church. It features 12 artists and over 40 paintings, a mix of abstract and figurative, including works by Debra Murrow, a Battery Park City resident, Chad Collins and Makoto Fujimura.

Titled “Restoration,” many of the paintings explore themes of meditation and spirituality.

One of Murrow’s works, “Jadez,” is typical of her signature style, which revolves around a message — sometimes explicit, other times not. She described the piece as “like a restoration prayer,” and while “God Bless America” is inscribed at the center of the artwork, she said other messages were hidden throughout the piece.

She often begins with a black and white drawing and layers on colors and images —in this instance using lots of red, white and blue with gold and silver glitter flourishes.

“There’s usually always a message — positive words, phrases and now scripture-based,” said Murrow. “As my life proceeds…and I’m seeking more my path, it just happens.”

Murrow, a mother of a 17-month-old, is also known for her interactive and collaborative works on paper. She utilizes all media — watercolors, pastels, oils and acrylics. She conducts workshops and art ministry classes and encourages her students to collaborate with her using her black and white drawings as a starting point.

“I started teaching art because I realized that people could create over these wonderful positive images and heal. As people go through my workshops and create on my art, it’s really very therapeutic [for them],” she said.

One of her most popular workshops is held regularly on the 44th floor of her building, overlooking lower Manhattan.

For gallery owner Jane Chun, the show also has special significance. She and her parents own the art gallery and custom framing shop, which has been at the same spot for 20 years. And she said it’s her way to help others and give back to the community.

This is the second year she has sponsored a benefit art show on Sept. 11. Last year, the gallery sold posters depicting a collage of photographs of victims of the tragedy and raised $20,000 for their families. Many family members attended the show.

This year Ms. Chun’s show is benefiting Teen Challenge of Brooklyn, a faith-based charity and drug rehabilitation program for youth and adults.

She said the last two years have been a difficult time economically for their business but not without a silver lining.

“My co-workers and I have bonded so well, and our neighbors are like my family. So we lost financially, but we gained socially and emotionally….I love this more now than two years ago,” said Ms. Chun.

Andrew Hongo, development director for Teen Challenge, is thrilled that Ms. Chun made “Restoration” possible, a theme that also reflects the goals of the program.

“We’re just really grateful to Jane and the artists for coming on board with us,” he said.

Murrow also contributed a large painting to the show that she and 20 women from Teen Challenge collaborated on together.

Prices for the art range from $100 to $8,000. People can also purchase a poster featuring artwork from the show for $20.


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