Local Parkland Artist Paints Portraits Of The Stoneman Douglas Shooting Victims, Gifts Paintings To Families
When Nava Lundy, a Parkland resident and full-time artist, heard the news of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, she grabbed her 13-month-old baby and ran home from the neighborhood park.
Her husband waited outside their preschool-aged daughters’ school until the lockdown it had been put under was lifted.
“That level of anxiety that I felt from that moment where I couldn’t be with my girls, it was…” Lundy says, her voice trailing off. “I was so grateful to have them home, but you’ll never be able to shake that this could’ve been any one of us in the community. That has really stuck with me.”
Although Lundy’s children are not old enough to be students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the tragedy of the shooting still impacted her personally. One of her good friends is cousins with Alyssa Alhadeff, a victim who lost her life on that fatal day.
It inspired Lundy to do what she does best—to paint.
“The portrait of Alyssa, I did the next day [after the shooting],” Lundy says. “I just felt this urgency. I needed [the family] to have it as quickly as possible.”
After painting a portrait of Alhadeff, Lundy continued the project and painted a portrait of each of the 17 victims killed during the shooting.
“What I try to do with all of my artwork and all my portraits, but especially with these, is capture more than just the likeness,” Lundy says. “I really try to focus on capturing an essence of feeling.”
The portraits were a surprise for each family. Lundy has delivered most of the portraits to the victim’s families, and has been in contact with the families that have not yet received the paintings.
“I wouldn’t have been content doing nothing,” Lundy says. “I don’t think this is necessarily anything that anyone can heal from. It’s just so personal.”
“I don’t know how to put it into words, which is really why I paint,” Lundy continues. “I wanted to do something and that’s what I could do.”
Lundy posted photos of the portraits to her business Facebook page as well, which she says has been healing for the community as a whole.
“When I started the portraits, I was doing that for the sole purpose of comforting the families,” Lundy says. “But what I discovered as I was doing them and posting them on my artist’s Facebook page was that they were getting a huge response from people. They were telling me in personal messages that nothing was helping them heal except seeing these portraits.”
Photos of Lundy’s portraits, acrylic paintings on canvases, are below with the names of the victims under each portrait. Lundy used a modeling paste and palette knife to get the desired texture.
“These are more than just paintings, they are people,” Lundy says. “Never forget that they are not a statistic. I wanted them to remain real people, with real families who really miss them and all of the things that they should have been doing at this time.”
To view more of Lundy’s work, visit navagallery.com.
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