NEW YORK - 23-year-old Josana Blue packed up her bags and moved to New York during the overnight hours of September 11th, 2001, eager for a new beginning.
However, the aspiring artist was in no way prepared for what would happen when the sun came up.
“I stuck my head out the window, laid eyes on the towers, which was amazing,” she recalls.
Blue couldn’t go to her first day of graduate school at New York University because the big city was under attack.
Nineteen years later, Blue says she can’t imagine living anywhere else.
“It was a big deal for me to move to New York City. I’m an artist. New York City is a mecca for artists. I knew I needed to come here and I needed to be here,” she tells us.
Blue believes her art echoes the city’s strength and resilience from September 11th, to the COVID-19 pandemic, and everywhere in between.
“I was inspired, obviously, by the Black Lives Matter movement, watching the marches, seeing people’s signs,” Blue says.
The artist’s biggest masterpiece to date is a breathtaking display, featuring Blue in a blue and yellow dress with a thirty-six foot skirt, surrounded by hand-sewn banners reading the words “hope” and “love.”
“No matter what happens, like I said before, you get up and put your boots on and you keep marching. You’ve gotta keep going,” she reaffirms.
Blue also helped to design and deliver more than five-thousand masks to essential workers during the pandemic, all in the spirit of the place she calls home.