> 2005 - 2010



Painted bronze, wood and collage, 2005,
20" x 10" x 14".

9/11/2001 shocked us out of our pettiness, its heroes inspired us, its senseless tragedy united us, and the world stood with us. Then came the Iraq War and the unity evaporated, leaving behind a deep divide to polarize our communities, country and world, separating us, isolating us.

Shortly after the 2004 presidential election, I ran into a former acquaintance. After catching up on family news, she leaned in conspiratorially, stating how pleased she was to hail from a red state. She seemed stunned when I responded that I was pleased that we both lived in a blue state. She had assumed that I shared her political views because for four years, when we lived in the same community, I sat most Sundays in a pew across from her. We were both hurt to feel an invisible veil fall between us, dividing us, defining each other as one of “them.” I was particularly embarrassed to realize I felt a need to defend myself as a Christian, as a moral person. I wondered why I allowed a color to define my beliefs, stripping them of their nuances, contradictions, and complexity.

-Janet Geib Pretti

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