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Christine Marcum

An early morning call in late June 2008 changed the course of the next year for Christine Marcum, a fiber artist. She learned that her son, an active-duty officer for the U.S. Army in Northern Afghanistan, had suffered extensive damage to his right foot and ankle after stepping on an explosive anti-personnel device. Marcum spent the next 11 months with him on the Brooke Army Medical Center campus in San Antonio, Texas, helping with his recovery. “Our soldier’s sufferings are long and many, but he has tremendous courage and fortitude, not to mention a great sense of humor, which has helped us all through his injury,” she says. Though his trauma, which eventually required the amputation of his lower right leg, initially kept Marcum from creating art, it eventually inspired her to get back to her studio.

One Sentence

8 x 14 x 14 in.

Mixed Media: Paper, Fabric, Paint, Photographs and Found Objects

Creating this three-dimensional, mixed-media book helped Marcum to process her son’s injury and her thoughts about his future after his leg was amputated below the knee. Though her son, now 26, is the main character, the book also recognizes the medical professionals, family members, fellow soldiers, volunteers and complete strangers who were there to offer support and kindness. “‘One Sentence’ is a small way to recognize the many ‘characters’ in this story, and more importantly recognize the many men and women, who despite their catastrophic injuries, when being thanked for their service to their country, invariably reply with one sentence: ‘I was just doing my job,’” Marcum says.