Friday, July 6, 2018

'Beautiful Lives Lost' July 5, 2018

Quin Sweetman, Originator of Beautiful Lives Lost Portrait Project

(Press Release, Portland, OR)

After the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead, Quin Sweetman, a full-time artist, felt helpless in the face of yet another national tragedy of senseless gun violence. She had a brilliant idea to help us all grieve. Quin gathered 55 artists together via Facebook to make portraits of the 58 people who were killed.  She called the project “Beautiful Lives Lost”.

“We really don’t like referring to the people who lost their lives that day as victims,” notes Sweetman.  “All of them were people, not statistics, living rich, rewarding and beautiful lives. They were invisible to the perpetrator, but all the artists who committed to this project clearly see their humanity. The artists recognize, remember and honor those lost lives with their artworks. They volunteered their time, materials, and talents as a loving gesture to bring some comfort to the families, loved-ones and communities by showing that people care about their loss”.  Following the exhibition all portraits will be given to the families.

There is powerful visual impact created by showing all of these portraits together. All 58 artworks will be at The Marcia Policar Gallery in the Art Institute of Portland during July.

The art styles shown are as varied as the subjects of the portraits. Sweetman contributed a canvas of off-duty police officer (and 34-year-old Military Veteran) Charleston Hartfield, “a true blue American guy” depicted in soft oil brush strokes.  Celeste Bergin’s portrait of Special Education teacher Sandy Casey captures her optimistic and ebullient nature. "I learned a lot about her while painting her, Bergin said, I read somewhere that if you met Sandy just once, you loved her.  That is exactly right, through this project I "met" Sandy... and now I love her too. 

Sweetman noted, “Kindness begets kindness. and 'Beautiful Lives Lost' has created a heartening experience for all the participating artists. The portraits serve as tangible proof that these 58 people will continue to be remembered in the most positive light. Art helps us all heal”. 

Art Institute of Portland
1122 NW Davis
Overall exhibit dates July 5-July 27


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