Images of people, real or imagined, whom Mary wishes to venerate on a more personal level. No less an Icon for their familiarity, the mixed media paintings incorporate an array of texture, to create a portrait, which celebrates the sacredness in all of us.
Large scale compelling portraits of the young women and girls who will craft our future. Despite the formidable challenges we have left them, they give me great hope for a brighter future …
On the night of May 6, 1965, four F4 tornadoes cut through the northwest Twin Cities metro area. Known collectively as the Fridley tornados, these twisters were the worst cyclonic disaster to hit the Twin Cities to date.
Recently, a client reached out to Mary asking her to modify an existing painting. Mary was touched and wanted to share the story:
I (Mia) was in a twister – the 1965 tornados that hit Fridley when I was 9 years old. My house was blown completely away, as well as most of my neighborhood. This is a picture of me and my Mom as they were cleaning up the neighborhood. All that was left standing was this closet and one wall on the other end of the house. This photo was in a Minneapolis Star Tribune story on the 50th anniversary. One of the things I remember so well about that night was that my next-door neighbor, Jody my babysitter, was setting up for Prom at the high school the following weekend. Clearly, the Prom never happened and newspaper stories mentioned all the prom dresses found in the debris for a dance that never happened. You can read Mia’s memoir to her sons here.
So, that is why this painting is meaningful to me.
Pictured below is Mia and her mother after 2 tornados ripped through Fridley, Minnesota in May of 1965.
Joan Trumpauer Mullholland
Stokely Carmichael, Gwendolyn Green, and Joan Trumpauer Mulholland. Source: “Breach of Peace” by Eric Etheridge.
In 1961 she had been one of a group of Freedom Riders arrested in Jackson, Mississippi and confined for two months in the Maximum Security Unit of the Mississippi State Penitentiary -“Parchman Farm”.
Fred Blackwell’s photograph of the sit-in at the Woolworth’s in Jackson, Mississippi. The woman with the back of her head facing the camera is Joan Mulholland which took place on May 28th, 1963.
In the summer of 1961, the historic Freedom Riders, a group of black and white activists, challenged the legally segregated buses and bus stations of the south by refusing to travel separately. Thirteen riders left on two Greyhound buses en route to New Orleans from Washington, DC.
Anniston, Alabama was the most dangerous of all towns where the riders stopped. On Mother’s Day, the two buses arrived in Anniston and were set on fire. Churchgoers and their children were reportedly watching as the riders attempted to escape the flames of the bus, only to be beaten by the townspeople until the police stopped the chaos.
Mulholland, along with Stokely Carmichael (the activist and later SNCC chairman), Hank Thomas, and many others, took a different freedom ride. The group took a plane to New Orleans, then rode on the Illinois Central train to Jackson, Mississippi, with members of the Congress of Racial Equality.
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