'Will you have the grace to mourn for me?' Maya Angelou's words are chilling and beautiful as they dance off the canvas and sink into the consciousness of viewers.
Dave Anderson's 'To Break a Butterfly: Reflections of the Art and Writing of the Terezin Children' brings the past into a present reality.
Anderson, who lives in Vernonia, will show his work in Pacific University's Cawein Gallery through Feb. 7.
The work, which includes handmade books and collages/assemblages, is inspired by the art and poetry of the children of Terezin (Theresienstadt) Concentration Camp.
Terezin, located in the modern Czech Republic, was a walled ghetto that served as a transit camp for Jews en route to Auschwitz.
Friedl Dicker-Brandeis was an artist and teacher who taught the children in the ghetto until she and her students were taken to Auschwitz.
Anderson has taken this work and re-interpretted it through his own artistic lens. The work includes pictures and poetry from Dicker-Brandeis' students as well as poetry and thoughts from Anderson and other writers, poets, and thinkers.
Anderson has also created a 10-volume suite of books celebrating the art and poety of children who perished in the Holocaust. 'Their voices and vision are all that survived; hearing and seeing them changed me forever,' he said.
Anderson, whose background is in graphic design and advertising, sees his work as informational as well as evocative.
'My purpose,' Anderson wrote in his biography, 'is to explore, record and illuminate the human experience.'