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Artists donate talent for Emanuel AME victim portraits - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Artists donate talent for Emanuel AME victim portraits

Family members of the Emanuel AME victims see portraits of their loved ones for the first time at Principle Gallery. Family members of the Emanuel AME victims see portraits of their loved ones for the first time at Principle Gallery.
Anthony Thompson, husband of Myra Thompson, poses with artist Stephanie Deshpande. Anthony Thompson, husband of Myra Thompson, poses with artist Stephanie Deshpande.
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Nine artists from across the country have created portraits of the nine victims of the Emanuel AME church shooting, as part of a month-long exhibit at a Charleston art gallery.

The portraits were unveiled to the victims' families at Principle Gallery on Sunday. 

"That small little gift of a portrait for these families will hopefully last a lifetime and can heal a little bit of their pain," Principle Gallery Director Frank Conrad Russen said.  "Hopefully, it's captured the essence of that person."

The artists volunteered their time to paint or draw the portraits, using conversations with family members and pictures as inspiration.

"It was very emotional for these artists," Russen said.  "Capturing that moment without meeting that person, and then portraying that on canvas, is moving."

Lauren Tilden, of New Jersey, created an oil painting of Susie Jackson.  She said it took a month to complete.

"I'm not a first responder, I'm not a doctor or nurse.  As an artist, this was the only way to do something for the families and bring comfort to them," Tilden said.

The gallery will display the portraits for one month.  Afterwards, they will be given to the families.

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