“Anybody who read about the Ludlow Massacre, anybody who heard about it was bound to be affected by it.” — Howard Zinn
On April 20, 1914, eleven children and two women suffocated as fire swept through the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) strikers’ tent colony of Ludlow. Their deaths outraged people across the country and around the world. More importantly, they came to symbolize the needless violence associated with labor-management conflicts in the early twentieth century. One hundred years later and over one hundred miles from the infamous site — I sit in my studio and feel compelled to share this story. I am driven to pick up my brushes and paint. Some storytellers use words, others photographs or dance. As a fine artist I use canvas and oil to convey meaning and encourage understanding. With this in mind I started work on a series of eleven original oil paintings depicting the people and events surrounding the Massacre. Eleven paintings for the eleven innocent children caught up in a deadly struggle for labor rights. The striking miners sought recognition of their union and some degree of control over their working and living conditions. In 2014, what do we know or understand about this fight? How did this event affect the way we work and live? Why aren’t we more familiar with pivotal moments that changed the course of history? Who were the people involved in the massacre and what can we learn from them? Just who were they? These are the questions I hope my work provokes. Perhaps too, my paintings will inspire people to find answers. Initially, my work will be shown at a local museum as a critical element of their exhibit, Memories of a Massacre: Perspectives on Ludlow. The large-scale paintings will literally wrap around the gallery providing a dense and dramatic backdrop to the archeological artifacts on display. The objects are intensely personal: from a child’s marble to a rusted remnant of the mother’s sewing machine, from a spent bullet casing to a charred piece of a floorboard. The bits and pieces represent the minutia of everyday life. Of people just like you and me. My work will be based on a selection of historic photographs chosen to represent the various experiences of Southern Colorado coal miners and their families, the Colorado National Guard, Colorado Fuel and Iron Company officials, UMWA organizers and other individuals involved in the tragedy. Additionally, one of my goals as an artist is to provide affordable art through limited edition prints. As Americans, this is OUR STORY and we should all have access to it. I am excited that over the course of the next year thousands of people will be exposed to the lessons of the Ludlow Massacre through the exhibit and through my paintings and prints. I hope you will join me in the work of telling this story. Through your generous support I will be able to conduct research and create paintings that help us understand our shared past. To thank you for your financial support I am offering various incentives. A catalogue book, linocut prints, and fine prints of the finished paintings. As a working artist I am aware of the many challenges related to a project of this scope but am passionate, determined and driven to tell this story. I invite you to view my portfolio of past works at lindsayhand.com. And please check back often as I will keep you posted on my progress. Thank you in advance for your support!
Below are all eleven completed paintings!
Risks and challenges
Each show I have done has brought me a new level of challenges and success. I have a strong support system of family, friends, peers and the lovely and helpful exhibit coordinators at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. The exhibit opens a short time away and my biggest challenge is to push away doubts that creep in. To continuously trust that all it's aspects, the impact of the paintings and the story they convey, the limited edition prints, and an awareness of this pivotal event in history, culminate in such a way as to honor the miners and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we all could have better lives. To keep that as my focus and stay away from the fears of deadlines and expectations, external and internal and just know I am here right now, to do the next step on the project with all my focus poured into making it all it is intended to be.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)