United We Stand

By Sharon Oakes | November 6, 2020

(This post refers to works by my late husband, Bill Oakes, a visionary, educator, and prolific painter.)


It’s a good thing Bill didn’t live in these surreal times. He was so sensitive and always looked for the best in people. He would have been shocked and saddened by what is happening, as are many of us. Our country seems to be strikingly at odds. Who protests counting votes? Perhaps this pandemic is affecting our humanity—there’s so much to worry us, and many people are lashing out at anyone who disagrees with them.


Bill’s mixed media painting Spared seems so relevant to these times. To me, it depicts a two-headed monster. One head appears frightened and distraught, its hair standing on end. The other is full of holes—nothing useful can develop in that mind. Bill’s concept for this painting was more out of this world; where I see two heads and a torso, he conceived an aerial view of outcrops of communities. Two had experienced destruction, but one area was “spared.” Let’s hope that our country is spared from this continuing hate, violence, and divisiveness and that we can salvage some of our common unity. The alternative is too frightening to contemplate.


Bill Oakes, “Spared,” mixed media, 50″ x 30″ 

One of our
Founding Fathers, John Dickinson, wrote in “The Liberty Song”: “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all, By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” Dickson wrote the song in 1768; 252 years later it bears more importance than ever.


Copyright © 2020 Sharon Oakes

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