Following tragedy, local artists create powerful messages through art

Local artists create powerful messages for community through art
By Buff Ross
By Buff Ross

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As the community continues to mourn the Mother Emanuel shooting, the healing process begins. In our era, that healing process plays out very publicly on social media.

Several local artists have created powerful works of art that are resonating with the Charleston community.

Their images are being shared by thousands of users on Facebook and Twitter. Hundreds have even changed the graphics into their profile pictures.

The artists behind these images are being praised for presenting such strong messages to our community, without saying any words.

However, they seem to want little to no attention for their work. They tell me they simply used their skills, as a form of expression. It was their way of working through their pain, confusion and frustration about the massacre, just like the rest of us.

Craig Evans, owner of local company Y'all Some, created a piece of digital art that embodies a message of love and unity for the Holy City.

It's an image of a heart. The top of the heart includes Charleston's cityscape, even the Ravenel Bridge. Evans placed the cityscape above the water, as if to appear floating.

The image reads "hate will not sink a city that loves."

Evans tells me he created it in his hotel room, in the middle of the night. He's been traveling out of town and felt helpless being so far from his beloved hometown during the tragedy.

The piece of art was a form of therapy for him, but he also hoped it might bring comfort to others.

Evans says he'll start selling this graphic on shirts, prints and stickers on 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.

Another piece of digital art getting a lot of exposure, following the shooting, is in the shape of a tear drop.

Charleston native, Buff Ross, tells me he also created his piece while he was mourning the pain his city was going through.

"I felt like the whole city was crying together, whether actually or internally, so it just popped into my head the idea the church and the tear drop," said Ross, owner of AllOneWord Design.

Inside the teardrop shape, is the silhouette of Emmanuel A.M.E. church. Nine doves can also be seen flying to the sky. Ross says this is to symbolize the nine victims in a peaceful, angelic light.

His piece includes the saying "Tears for Mother, Love for All."

Ross says he's starting to printing the image on posters and hanging them around Downtown Charleston. The posters also include a QR code that goes directly to links for donating to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.

For these designers, creating the images seemed to just be their instinct, their way of getting their feelings out. For everyone else, the art is also bringing out feelings. Feelings of pride, strength, love and hope. Images to remind for years to come, of the bright light that can come out of darkness.

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