TORN-ADO has been a result of the collaborative efforts of many artists with the desire to share the message of human resilience. It will be presented in a room specially constructed to house the installation, enabling visitors to experience three-dimensional artwork that transforms and utilizes the surrounding space. The artwork will use a variety of media to convey a message of human resilience in the face of disaster and chaos.

This project was inspired by a series of Professor Crawford’s paintings entitled Black Rose, made in response to her observations on the devastating effect of cancer in the life of her husband. TORN-ADO is an expansion of Crawford’s Black Rose series—both physically, in becoming a collaborative work that fills an entire room, as well as conceptually, addressing the concept of disaster not just in regard to cancer but to the many forms of disaster that humans encounter.

“We’re creating kind of a tribute to hope and perseverance amidst all the destruction,” said Heather Madsen, another artist on the team. “Our end goal is actually very uplifting. Humans stick together and we survive.”

In addition to the collaborative effort of the installation itself, there will also be a series of “field-note” pieces made by the individual artists. The pieces will be similar to the style of written and illustrated notes taken by an artist or scientist in an observational setting and will address and depict specific topics of disaster such as tornados, floods, cancer, child abuse, etc.

“Too often we forget that you can't have peace without the existence of chaos,” said Ayla Stebbing, a member of the artistic team. “A big part of this is how to get through [chaos] and knowing that there is going to be something different yet beautiful at the end of it. I’m glad to be part of creating that reminder for people.”

Written by: Whitney John