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This View by Nancy LeMay
Nancy LeMay is a five-time Emmy winning broadcast designer who has worked both in New York and LA, in network and local. She is a teacher and a painter as well. You can reach her through her website, and by email at
Update, AfterImages:
Healing Through Art

In January I wrote a piece for this space called "AfterImages," in which I told you about the alumni magazine of Cooper Union, "at Cooper." We'd just received the Spring issue, which reported on the work and experiences of 8 artists whose studios were on the 91st floor of the WTC North Tower. KFWB reported recently that these artist's studios are being relocated across the street from the WTC, to the buildings that comprise the World Financial Center.

The story was a quick reader; they said that the intent of reestablishing the studios was to help bring people back to the area. I'm glad they didn't miss the story's significance, because it is representative of the healing that has begun in this New York neighborhood. It is a statement, too, of the value of art-making. This part of Manhattan, that will now always be scarred by the horror of September 11th, becomes a force in the lasting statements that those artists will make.

I paint; I've been painting for 35 years. I can tell you that I waited for the day when I would feel like painting again, knowing that this would be a signal that I was starting to bring a useful perspective, a response, to my grief and sense of loss. I'll tell you this: it will not matter what those artists paint; being there and painting is an affirmation that's profoundly powerful. Painting is an act of love, release, meditation, analysis, confrontation. Bringing these energies to this spot in Lower Manhattan, picking up the creative dialogue in that particular place, will strengthen everyone. It means that the spirit that drives us was not struck down, but remains and finds new strength and new things to say. The Financial Center buildings are now familiar to millions as the towers that frame the Trade Center site when it's viewed from the Hudson River.

The WFC, opened in the mid 1980s', is a mix of office space, restaurants, fast food places, stores. The northernmost of these buildings (the one with the pyramid on top) is the headquarters of American Express. In1989 I worked in t his building; from the 46th Floor you see Midtown Manhattan rising up like a canyon wall, stretching from river to river. What a privilege to be able to paint New York from this vantage point, high up, underneath a vast sky. A place that's poetic and fragile, and, as we have seen, incredibly strong and enduring as well.