A poster designed by Finnish artist Kari Piippo to commemorate the events of Sept. 11, 2001, will be unveiled at Colorado State University this week.
When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last year, Piippo was visiting Colorado State as honor laureate of the Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition. Piippo shared the trauma of the following days with his hosts at the university, and was commissioned by Colorado State’s College of Liberal Arts to create a poster that would represent the events of Sept. 11 in a way that expressed a message of hope. Piippo’s poster design and artist’s statement will be initially recognized at the College of Liberal Arts Honors Dinner on Feb. 21.
"It’s my first morning in Fort Collins," Piippo wrote in a statement that accompanies the image he created. "I switch on the television, and in a second the mood changes dramatically. But our hope is still the same. Life goes on – the sun will rise also tomorrow. Yet on Sept. 11, it had a black margin."
"The poster image – a rising sun with a black margin – expresses a subtle richness with simple directness," said Bob Hoffert, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "This poster reflects the compassion and sense of challenge we, as members of the College of Liberal Arts and of the campus community, feel following the events of Sept. 11."
In conjunction with the Feb. 21 honors dinner, the Piippo poster and statement will be distributed across campus and the Fort Collins community for posting. The poster also will be distributed to all public high schools in the Poudre and Thompson Valley school districts. It will be displayed with the artist’s statement and a statement from the college.
Larger banner versions of the poster will be erected on campus for display until the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Banner locations include the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Office entryway, the north entry to Clark C-wing and Eddy Hall. A collage centering on the poster will be created and displayed in the Visual Arts Building. Each department office in the College of Liberal Arts will display a framed poster and Piippo’s statement.
Piippo’s work has won more than a dozen major international awards. Piippo founded his own graphic design studio in 1987 and has presented lectures and poster workshops around the world.