Visitors to Mooresville Arts in downtown can see a wide variety of artwork, but one in particular reminds us of an event in history that touched many lives. Monday will mark the 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, where all 168 people were killed, which included adults and children.
The artwork, painted by Suzy Czerwinski, who serves as vice president of Mooresville Arts and manager of the gift shop, shows the outdoor statue entitled, “And Jesus Wept,” which was installed across the street from the Oklahoma City National Museum.
The painting, while serving as a poignant reminder of this tragedy that happened April 19, 1995, also strikes a personal chord with Czerwinski as she herself served in the U.S. Secret Service, joining in 1984 and serving in various departments before she retired. She noted that she knew some of those who lost their lives in the bombing.
Therefore, at the bottom of the painting is a note that indicates it is “Dedicated to my colleagues at the U.S. Secret Service whose lives were taken at the Oklahoma City Bombing.” In the bottom left corner, she has tucked a card providing a list of the names of those victims on that ninth floor.
While not in Oklahoma at the time of the bombing, Czerwinski said that she took a trip to Oklahoma City around 2006 when she retired.
“It was unbelievable,” she said noting “the horror you feel as you walk through the memorial and see all those chairs of the people who lost their lives and then as you come out the other side and see the memorial at the church across the street.”
Czerwinski shared that she went to the statue and the thought that crossed her mind as she looked up was “the shame He felt” and because of that she thought how compelling this is.
She said that upon seeing the statue, she said “on my, I have to paint that, which is what she did and now shares it with the community.
In addition to the names that are provided, the words “We Remember” are also on that card. These names and Czerwinski’s artwork serve as a reminder to each of us of the day, and all are invited to visit the gallery to view the work.