Marks Left Behind: NYAA Recollections, Connections and Impact of 9/11

Co-curated by Sharon Thomas and Dana Lee 

For the New York Academy of Art, the tragic events of 9/11 in downtown Manhattan became a powerful moment in the institution’s history. As students and staff, we were forced witnesses to an event that affected the global, as well as the local environment that we operated within. 

Twenty years later, this event which undoubtedly had an influence upon our personal narratives is an awkward moment to discuss, with many stories of that time unrecorded or unacknowledged within the NYAA family.

Compelled by dialogue between alumni over the last 12 months, fellow graduates Sharon Thomas and Dana Lee are leading a visual and audio project recorded ‘StoryCorps’-style of recollections of that day September 2001 in New York and the months afterwards. Work made during this period or later as a response to that period will be invited to be exhibited online and possibly presented as a limited-edition publication.

We do hope that you may share your stories and thoughts upon this hard period of our histories and permanently offer an insight to a period that is the story of the New York Academy of Art. This project involves both students and staff based at NYAA at this time.


Proposed questions:

  • Where were you the morning of September 11, 2001, and what was planned for that day?

  • Who were you with during the day of 9/11?

  • Was there a sensory experience that you recall most strongly that day?  For example. What did you see?  What did you hear?  What did you smell/taste/touch? 

  • What was your reaction, or even reactions of those close to you when seeing/hearing the attack upon the Twin Towers?

  • What words or expressions do you recall or stand out from that day and the days/weeks after?

  • Do you feel that the events that you experience of 9/11 have any impact upon future decisions that you made?

  • Do you feel that the events that you experienced of 9/11 had any impact upon the future artwork you produced?



Sharon Thomas: Artist and Lecturer, Glasgow, UK Sharon Thomas
Dana Lee: Artist and Educator, Burlington, VT Dana Lee


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