Post Eagle Newspaper


May 24, 2024

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Renowned Artist Presents NY Councilman
9/11 Commemorative Painting

BAY RIDGE, NY – As Americans mark the somber twelfth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks this year, with the reading of the names, moments of silence and serene music that have become tradition, renowned local artist Leokadia Makarska-Cermak presented Councilman Vincent J. Gentile with a commemorative painting entitled “Golden Angels over Lower Manhattan.”

“When we teach children about 9/11, we must not simply focus on the evil acts but on our spirit and solidarity,” Gentile said. “We must tell our children about the hours, days and weeks following the attacks when Brooklyn, New York City and the Nation came together and showed their true colors as Americans – helping and consoling one another and giving of themselves selflessly – and that was the sentiment behind this painting.”

In photo above: CouncilmanVincent J. Gentile and artist, Leokadia Makarska-Cermak

“I began to paint this canvas soon after 9/11 but I couldn’t finish it,” said Makarska-Cermak. “The images of living nightmares I witnessed that day, and those echoed over and over in the media, weakened my motivation. I put the unfinished painting away, as I wouldn’t force myself to work on it under these circumstances.  Though mine paled in comparison to so many others, it took me almost 10 years to overcome my trauma from that tragic day.”

“No matter how many years pass, the sense of loss and sadness will never go away,” Gentile continued. “But as we reflect, we heal and we rebuild our city. Twelve years after those horrific attacks, we are a stronger city.”

“In July 2011, nearly 10 years later, I finally felt the energy necessary to finish my artwork,” Makarska-Cermak said. “I applied gold leaf on the angel’s hair and wings to show their heavenly origin. Then, I covered their clothing and wings with dust imitating the dust from the burning towers because evil triumphed over good on that day.”

Artist Makarska-Cermak’s list of honors includes presentations of portraits to Mayor Giuliani, Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Schumer. She has also painted commissioned portraits of former Czech President Vaclav Havel, Mother Theresa, and Pope John Paul II, among others. Makarska-Cermak received a full scholarship from the Polish Ministry of Culture to study abroad. While in Italy, she studied under such distinguished Professors as Francesco Brunetti, Demetrio Casile, and Nino Noce. This painting will be on display in the window of Councilman Vincent J. Gentile’s office at 8703 3rd Avenue.

For more information about the artist go to

– Leokadia Makarska-Cermak