Thoughts of Flo McGarrell a Year After the Earthquake in Haiti

Flo McGarrell was on my mind a year ago today, and is again today, the anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Flo died in the collapse of the Peace of Mind Hotel in Jacmel. His sudden death stays with me. I feel powerless to ease the pain of Flo’s parents, who miss him immeasurably. Flo’s room in the McGarrell’s Vermont home has been left as it was the last time Flo visited in December 2009. His work lives on, as his friends continue to offer assistance to the artists he was mentoring at FOSJA, a Jacmel art center. Sue Frame who was with Flo at the time of the earthquake, started Jakmel Ekspresyons to carry on Flo’s work to help contemporary artists in Jacmel. A memorial exhibition at AVA in New Hampshire included many of Flo’s inflatable sculptures as well as the work of many of Flo’s friends. This link it to AVA’s post on the show.In an interview, Flo said, “I am extremely lucky to have an amazingly supportive family who puts up with all my crazy schemes. They seem to understand, respect and trust my drive. I am so thankful I was born into them, and do not take this for granted. This is where all my freedom really comes from. I don’t have to really sell any work because, if worst comes to worst, I can always go home.” Here is a link to read interview by Georgia Kotretsos.

Today I added 23 previously unreleased images to a set on flickr of images shot three weeks after the earthquake along with a set of Haiti 11 months after the earthquake.

Image descriptions: Top- Haitian beads and small bottle of Haitian spirits on the door of Flo’s room, Flo’s bedroom, as he left it ,Shrine in Flo’s room
Bottom- Zaka ( Claudel Chery) , Flo’s protoge, visiting the memorial in the McGarrel’s backyard where Flo’s ashes are buried,Window sill in Flo’s room, Flo’s book shelf

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