Polka Dots by Gregory Mortenson

12th Annual ARC Salon (2016-2017)

Gregory Mortenson

Polka Dots

2014

71.12 x 55.88 cm | 28 x 22 in

Oil on linen

  • ARC Purchase Awards ($15,000)
  • Honorable Mention / Portraiture

"In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake of 2010, a lifelong friend of mine traveled to Haiti to see what good he could do. He came across a group of children that were living in a tent in pasture of small village. They had been displaced from Port au Prince when their orphanage crumbled. He purchased the land they were on and then donated it to them. He then began construction on housing and a school. At that point my wife and I traveled to Haiti to help him with the project. It was there that I met the young girl in the polka dot dress. What impressed me about her and the other children was how quickly they had recovered and healed their broken hearts. The rest of Haiti was completely devastated be the earthquake. Lives were lost. Homes were lost. Jobs were lost. Everywhere you went there seemed to be a depression that had set in. I expected the same at the orphanage. To my surprise, they were just happy kids. The fields rang with laughter and they had big dreams just like any other child. Even though they had lost their families, they had created a new family at the orphanage. It was a true triumph of the human spirit." - Gregory Mortenson