10/03/2011 03:19 pm ET | Updated Dec 03, 2011

One Year Before , Commemorating 9/11 Through Collaboration

2011-09-20-JIMJIM.jpgstyle="float: left; margin:10px">Just one year before September 11, 2001, a date that has changed American history, James (Jim) Budman was walking on his balcony in Soho NYC when he saw something extraordinary. A wine glass had been left out from the night before and was half full with water. In the reflection of the water, the twin towers, which could be seen from his apartment, were mirrored.

Through the distortion, Jim saw the perfect opportunity for a beautiful picture. He grabbed his camera and took two frames of film. Little did Jim know how the picture's meaning would change drastically in the course of one year. What was just an interesting distortion turned into an image of remembrance and beauty of such a dark event that changed the lives of so many. The picture is titled One Year Before (photo to the left curtousy of Jules Muck and Jim Budman).

We recently marked the tenth anniversary of 9/11. To commemorate this event, Jim invited artists of all ages, styles and statures to add their own interpretations and meaning to the original print of One Year Before. The result of the project was displays of exceptional artistry and creativity; each artist used different mediums and approaches to express their feelings towards 9/11 and their memories of the twin towers.

Over 30 collaborations were made, and this is just the beginning. Artists from all over the world are working on collaborations. A book is in the works, as well as an art show. At the event, Jim sold the original prints for $30 each. Fifty percent of all proceeds were given to Harlem Grown, a non-profit organization devoted to introducing green spaces into communities and educating children through nature. Harlem Grown represents the re-growth of New York City, creating a positive angle to focus on while overcoming the tragic memories of 9/11.

Jim Budman has created a collaboration that is allowing people from all over the world to honor the memory of 9/11 through creativity and artistic expression. As the wine glass in the center of the picture shows, this image is a toast to the future of New York City. Jim has invested in the future through his affiliation with Harlem Grown, ensuring the education and empowerment of the next generation of New Yorkers.


LA Artist Andre Miripolsky's collaboration, one of many! Photo Curtousy of Jim Budman