Dear TRENDS Diary -
As I settled into my new home in Lyons five years ago and began to meet new friends and neighbors, I was struck by how people marked time with “before” and “after.” I realized they were referring to the historic flood that devastated the town in 2013.
To me, that speaks of trauma. Much of my work as an artist has focused on the trauma of war. Through working with veterans and gold star families, I noticed that speaking of loss and recognizing the pain is one step toward healing.
I wanted to recognize the resilience of the Lyons community after the flood with a memorial: a large bronze statue featuring a bell and a great horned owl building a nest in the crook of a Y-shaped branch. I created it with fellow sculptor James Moore, and it was installed on the flood’s seventh anniversary on September 11 near the Fourth Street bridge, which was ground zero during the flood.