Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New New Orleans Art

Here are the two newest pieces in my New Orleans series. These two are completely finished. Except, of course, for names. I have now completed seven pieces. Another has been cut out and is pending my approval. I have a cutting frenzy, then I have to walk away. I will return, tomorrow probably, and check for color and balance. However, I have vowed not to work in the studio one more minute until I have names for all of my pieces. Perhaps I should be like so many other artists and just label everything "untitled". Can't do it.

I do not feel today is going to be a good day for naming these quilts. I am very upset with what happened in New Orleans yesterday, on Fat Tuesday. Seven people were shot immediately following a parade yesterday. In broad daylight. No one was killed, but that is SO not the point.

I am amazed that so many of the citizens of New Orleans have been able to rebuild their lives and houses in the city, despite incredible obstacles. There are new businesses, new restaurants, new homes. So much work, energy, and hope has been poured (I really couldn't think of a better word) into the city since Katrina.

Yes, increasingly, the city is not run by its officials. It is being run by gangs of teenagers with guns. Little is being done to stop these kids from shooting in the streets. Now, if these people with guns were here from Afganistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, or even Canada, we would call it war, or terrorism, and something would be done about it.

It is not only happening in New Orleans. It's happening in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and every other major and minor city in this country. And our country spends far too much time laying blame than doing anything about it. Blame it on the NRA, blame it on guns, blame it on people who have guns, blame it on those who piss those people with guns off, blame it on mental illness, blame it on post traumtic stress disorder, blame it on deadbeat dads, blame it on welfare moms, blame it on drugs. Blame it on the lack of education. Blame it on racisim. My God, just laying the blame could take decades. Meanwhile, our country is experiencing urban warfare.

Just look at what we do when we think another country has weapons of mass destruction. Look at what we do when terrorists fly planes into our buildings.

And then look what we do when teenagers and young adults with guns attack our cities.

Shouldn't we wage war on ourselves? Naw, that would take time and money. And it might hurt somebody's feelings. We might just violate the rights of a handful of criminals. And someone who actually has the right to own a handgun might just be denied one by accident. Oh, the horror of that!

I really would like the right to walk down the street and not fear getting shot. Is that really too much to ask?

Sorry for the tirade. I didn't know I was going to go there. But now that I've been there, I'm going to leave it there for you to read.

I do have a great deal of hope for the next eight years, even though I may not show it.


Nellie's Needles said...

Kim, I'd very much like to see all these together. Have you considered putting them in a Picasa album?

As for guns, we were out driving in a rural area of Tennessee this morning and saw a big hand-lettered sign "Gun-$99". I hate to think how many people we live among who are armed.

paula said...

good works and good points...all of it. it can make one crazy though, i felt crazy just reading it cuz i get it!

jason said...

no, thank you for that!
(and especially for that last line)

Beautiful work, as always