Students at Liberty Middle School in Spanaway spent the first week of school working on a 9/11-themed art project called “The Twin Hearts.”
“This is one of the most special pieces and beginnings to a year I have ever had,” teacher Jim Wellman said. “I have shed some tears during this process. It’s hard not to when you see the beauty and love in such a horrible moment in time.”
Wellman said watching new students be moved by an event that happened before they were born, and coming together as a family to pay tribute, was an experience he will remember his entire teaching career.
“The Twin Hearts” were created for a display at a 9/11 tribute on Hawk Alley before the Seattle Seahawks game Sunday.
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The two towers were built from wood and cardboard at nearly five feet tall, plus Tower One’s antenna. They were then covered with more than 1,000 hand-cut and designed hearts made from paper, pencil, colored pencil and color pens, then glued down and sealed with a polycrylic.
“Knowing the chaos of the first week of school, the thought of a one-week turnaround to do something this important and emotionally charged was daunting, but it was an exciting possibility for any artist, especially young artists,” Wellman said. “They loved the idea and wanted to jump into the deep end. So instead of the typical welcome-to-school activities, we dove right in to the hard work, passion and imagination of creating art that had something to say about an important moment.”
Wellman said it’s important to remember that this is the first generation to grow up in the shadow of the repercussions of 9/11.
“They have no connection except for how the world has changed since it,” he said. “What they do know is that they want to be more free, more trusted, more connected, more happy, and they want all the adults to have it too.”
Debbie Cafazzo: 253-597-8635