Friends Museum to Host Two Exhibits Honoring 9/11 Victims and Heroes – by Ark Valley Voice Staff

To commemorate the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Museum of Friends in Walsenburg, Colorado will host two exhibits honoring the victims and heroes of 9/11. The exhibits will feature the works of two unique artists: Dawn Howkinson Siebel and Larry Racioppo.

Both exhibits, Better Angels and St. Paul’s Chapel at Ground Zero will open on the ground floor of the museum, side-by-side, on Saturday, September 3 and run through December 30, 2022.

The Friends Museum will hold an exhibition opening celebration from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on September 3, during which attendees will have the opportunity to meet artist Dawn Howkinson Siebel.

In partnership with Lamar, Colorado-based Tri-State 9/11 Tribute, the Museum of Friends will also host a public program with local first responders, firefighters and the American Legion to commemorate the events of 9/11. This event will take place on Saturday, September 17 at 1:00 p.m., one week after the Tri-State 9/11 Tribute to Lamar, which will feature three photographs by Larry Racioppo on loan from the Museum of Friends.

All Museum of Friends events will be held at 600 Main Street in Walsenburg, Colorado.

About Better Angels

Dawn Howkinson Siebel’s exhibition, Better Angels, consists of paintings depicting the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11. Each painting is a portrait of those fallen firefighters on a 6″ x 4″ burnt block of Baltic birch. The compositions are in black, white and raw shadow.

The complete work is the totality of all the portraits in seven rows of 49 columns which span 48 inches by 21 feet. This exhibition toured the country. To learn more, visit

About St. Paul’s Chapel at Ground Zero

Larry Racioppo’s exhibition, St. Paul’s Chapel at Ground Zero consists of color photographs documenting the transformation of St. Paul’s Chapel after 9/11. St. Paul’s is Manhattan’s oldest church. It is located about a block from Ground Zero and miraculously held its own despite the collapse of nearby towers.

As the cleanup began and the search for bodies continued, police, firefighters, National Guard, and construction and sanitation workers stopped at the chapel to rest, regroup, and feed. Long, grueling shifts kept workers from returning home, and St. Paul’s became a haven for sharing meals with volunteers, changing clothes, and resting in beds set up in the choir loft. Racioppo’s photographs document the characters in this story.

About the Friends Museum

Brendt Berger and Maria Cocchiarelli incorporated the Museum of Friends, a contemporary art museum, in 2007. The museum, located in the historic “Roof and Dick” building in the heart of downtown Walsenburg, is considered the only museum of the counterculture in the United States.

The name of the Museum of Friend comes from the fact that the initial collection of 500 pieces of paintings, photographs and sculptures were gifts from friends of Brendt and Maria. Today, friends and new artists continue to donate their work, expanding the permanent collection to over 1,600 works of art. Learn more at

Feature Image: An Associated Press photo of lower Manhattan on 9/11 as the World Trade Center burns.

Julia P. Cluff