September 16, 2011
The OBU Art Department recently sponsored a remembrance event for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, inviting OBU students to draw from their memories of Sept. 11, 2001.
After a chapel service on Sept. 7, students were given response cards with questions on them. Students were encouraged to draw pictures, write poetry and answer questions about where they were when they heard about the events on Sept. 11, 2001. The cards were posted on a board and displayed in the Geiger Center for the OBU community to view. Corey Fuller, assistant professor of graphic design, helped coordinate the remembrance event.
“9/11 is such a significant event, especially the 10-year anniversary, that I didn’t want to let it just go by,” he said. “As the anniversary grew near, I had several interesting discussions with other people about where they were and how they processed 9/11. I suppose those conversations created the impetus for a larger-scale project.”
Fuller explained that other students were involved in the development process, including senior Aaron Morvan, from Fort Worth, Texas. Several students created artwork for the response cards and set up a page on Twitter, helping other OBU students to take notice.
One anonymous student wrote on a response card: “On 9/11 I was in sixth grade. I remember walking into my classroom, and my teacher had the news on. When I sat down and saw the one Twin Tower smoking, I honestly had no idea what was going on. Then my teacher said, ‘All of you need to watch, you will remember this for the rest of your lives.’”
Freshman Ebony Bruner, from Oklahoma City, wrote, “I remember sitting in my chair, staring at the paleness that had captured my third-grade teacher’s face as she blinked away tears and told us of the tragedy that had taken place. She never hesitated in her words, and never let on outwardly how much the incident had affected her, even though I could sense it. There seemed to be an air of uncertainty, of vulnerability, as if the nation itself had simultaneously experienced a dream-of-being-naked-in-class moment.
“And somehow, even though I was young, I felt burdened, though it in no way had any connection to any of what had taken place that day. It seemed that death didn’t just occur tangibly in our nation, but crushing, desperately, piercingly within each of us.”
More than 75 cards were contributed for the remembrance display.
“Some of the cards were very well written, very heartfelt,” Fuller remarked. “There were also some nice drawings that portrayed images that perhaps could not be expressed with words. I suppose that made it a good fit for the Art Club sponsorship, though we didn’t really advertise it as such. It was to be a campus-wide ‘collective remembrance.’”