Linda Moran is a teacher and mixed media artist I know. She lives in Tuscon, Arizona.
On Saturday, Jan. 8, Linda considered going over to talk with Gabrielle Giffords at her “Congress in Your Corner” meeting at a Safeway grocery store in Tuscon. She wanted to tell Giffords that she supported many of her policies, but was disappointed with some of her political ads. But everyday affairs intervened, and she didn’t get there. She heard about the tragedy in the same ways that most Americans did: television, Facebook and Twitter.
And then, Linda did something that most of us didn’t. She decided to do something with her pain. She started a website called Art from the Heart: Healing Hatred in America
. It is going to be an online gallery in memory of lives lost and changed in the Tuscon tragedy. Artists who wish to make a statement about the problems of hatred, hate speech, discrimination, prejudice and political vitriol in the U.S. are invited to submit an image of a small piece. If accepted, the piece will be displayed on the website, with the artist’s statement.
Linda writes eloquently of her yearning for “reaching middle ground:”
Let ART be our clarion call; to wake long quieted voices, to recognize those who have paid prices far too high for simply being a citizen of this nation, to begin a dialogue of hope. Let ART be a neutral medium wherein we may express feelings that we dare not put to words, sadness that we no longer can contain within the depths of our souls, and above all else, the genuine desire that is in most people for a brighter future. Let ART be an avenue toward healing.
For all of us.
There is a point at which we have to forget on which side of the aisle we normally reside and gravitate back toward center. Where we can meet. Where we can see into each others eyes. Where we can, sometime in the near future, embrace. Where we can find one common vision and focus.
Step up with me. Put forth your ART. Let it speak. Let us hope that someone listens. And then another. And another.
May it be so; for you, and for me.
In grace and peace ~~ Anne