On September 11, 2011 Arizona Street Arts opened “Unsung Heroes,” an exhibition of large scale portraits of FDNY firefighters at the Loading Dock Gallery, 2024 East Arizona Street. This is the first showing in 10 years of the larger than life firefighter portraits and the inaugural exhibition for this industrial gallery space (it used to be an actual loading dock for the building). Events included a reception for the artist, and a candle-lit singing of Amazing Grace as evening descended on Kensington. It was a day set aside to honor our First Responders who died on 9/11, and to celebrate the vision of Artist Jesse Gardner, who recognized the unique qualities of the American firefighter 21 years ago, when he first put brush to canvas for this portrait series.
It was an emotional reception, with local residents and longtime followers of the portrait series in awe of the scale and power of the artwork. On a day when most First Responders were attending Civic events, it was a highlight of the afternoon when Lt. Shawn Glynn of Rescue 1visited with his wife, Fire Service Paramedic Beth Glynn.