Abraham Lincoln was born in Aquarius, bringer of water, sign of Universal Love. At the conclusion of the American Civil War, he urged peace and reconciliation in his Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865, five weeks before his death. He stated his intention in these words: “With malice toward none; with charity for all…” This week, on Sunday February 12, we celebrate his 208th birthday. To honor the occasion, I will exhibit the Lincoln portrait “So Costly A Sacrifice” – the original collage that was displayed in the West Wing of the White House for a few years.
Created in commemoration of the Lincoln Bicentennial (2009) and subsequently put on display in The White House, this unique collage mosaic incorporates photos of Civil War generals, maps, letters by Lincoln, and other artifacts of the war. I wanted to create a portrait of a leader who fully understood the sacrifices and costs of ordinary people in wartime, and I found inspiration in Lincoln’s letter to Lydia Bixby, who lost five sons to war, and the last photographic portrait by Alexander Gardner.
While in the Lincoln Museum, in Springfield, Illinois, I looked into Lincoln’s eyes in Gardner’s photo and saw his compassion and his stalwart dedication to his belief in Union and Freedom. Lincoln’s letter of condolence to Mrs. Bixby prompted the title of the portrait; he speaks of her solemn pride in having “…laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” The entire letter, in Lincoln’s hand, is incorporated into the background of the collage.
The portrait will be displayed in my booth at the Railyard Artisans Market, this Sunday, February 12. I have prints of the Lincoln portrait in various sizes available for sale as well.
We are also celebrating Love in its many splendid forms – and yes, I have candy hearts. Stop by and enjoy!
I took a short break last week and visited friends and family in San Antonio. The city is booming, expanding beyond the Alamo and little Mission churches. It has a thriving Arts community. I was pleasantly surprised to see the vitality of the First Friday gallery hop. People of all ages were strolling in the streets till nearly midnight, restaurants were open and buzzing, and the art was worthwhile. A performance piece “Pillow Talk” invited the audience to participate by texting the performers who wore identical jammies and sprawled in identical beds. It was cool.
Outside of the galleries, people were friendly and willing to converse beyond the trivial, talking Big Ideas. The city offers museums with credible collections – too much to see in one visit. The River Walk has been extended beyond hotels and downtown shopping; bicyclists and kayakers can enjoy the windy path of the river. I did some hiking as well, and found the famous dino tracks, amidst the acres of live oak and Spanish moss. So yes, my jaunt away from the Land of Enchantment provided with a renewed energy and reinvigorated vision.
See you soon! If you are in town give a call!
Love and Peace,
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico.