The Wedding Gift (unfinished)

September 10, 2001

oil on canvas, enplein air 

Artist: Sara Carpenter

This painting was done on request by a friend of the artist for his wedding gift.

The wedding date had been set for the week after 9/11 in 2001.

The artist, a New York City Police Officer at the time, would paint en plain air along the coast and bay of Long Beach.  

The groom, a New York City Fireman, was friends with the artist and for his wedding gift, asked for a painting. He was very specific as to what he wanted included in the painting; the wall with the crack in it, the ‘welcome’ pineapple on top of the wall, the bay, the marshland and the city skyline which included the Empire State building and The Twin Towers, which was the view from his apartment.

On September 10, 2001 the artist set up her easel next to the bay and began to paint. It was a beautiful September day but during the task, clouds moved in. 

Having started the painting by vaguely marking off the center where the Towers and the Empire State Building stood in the distance, the clouds moved over the skyline and no longer were the Towers visible.

Weather permitting, she planned to return the next day to detail them better.

She returned to The Towers the next day but not at the canvas, instead as a First Responder to the Towers themselves.

The groom, for whom this painting was created, was a First Responder as well.

The painting serves as a reminder of God's covenant of marriage, to love us and never leave us, no matter what we face in this world.

The artist wishes to convey her deepest sympathies to the families of those lost on 9/11. She wants to bring awareness to the fact, many still suffer and are dying from the aftermath, whether they were an innocent victim or a First Responder.

Peace, love and joy will overtake the world, have faith.

Bridge to Justice circa 1995
oil on board, en plein air

Artist: Sara Carpenter

This painting was done on the Brooklyn side of the East River. At the time, the area was mostly abandoned but was beginning to make a resurgence in development.

The artist worked hard to gain the correct perspective and grew weary in the heat. A few mistakes are to be found most notable, the spilled paint above the Towers.


Being unsatisfied with the end result, yet unable to discard it entirely, the painting was put in the basement of her parents home and forgotten.

If you were to compare the painting to present day:

  • The artist stood in a field that was over grown with grass and tall weeds, today a joyful Carousel serendipitously stands in her place.

  • The World Trade Center on 9/11/01 was destroyed by those who oppose the freedom enjoyed by Americans,

  • today The Freedom Tower stands in its place.

  • The Brooklyn Bridge, the same day, held thousands that were led safely away from the tragedy and dangers, today it remains standing strong.​

In 2016 the painting was rediscovered in the basement and it is now used as a multi dimensional tool for opening the eye, hand and heart to different perspectives.

Presently, the artist works specifically with a New York City Board of Education teacher at P.S. 56. to bring arts into the classroom.

Having been a New York City Police Officer and First Responder on 9/11, the artist is committed to teaching the next generation the history of that fate filled day.

The exhibition of this work is to:

Never let us forget
Raise awareness for victims ~ Embrace our freedom ~ Bridge the gap of loss with hope

The Love that stands for freedom will endure forever.