Community leaders, supporters, family and friends of the 49 victims of the Pulse shooting were at Orlando City Hall on Saturday afternoon for an art exhibit created to honor the victims as the one year anniversary of the tragedy approached.
The 49 Portraits Project was completed by 49 artists across the country and created to honor the memory of the 49 innocent lives taken during the Pulse shooting.
“What I love about this exhibit is even though it’s really sad they’re not here, this is really a tribute to their lives and the fact that the artists did this for their families is incredible.” said Orlando District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan “Some people turn to hatred and violence to solve their problems and artists turn to love and creativity.”
The event is just one of many that will take place leading up to the June 12th anniversary, when Orlando, the state and the world will remember the 49 lives lost when a shooter entered the club early that Sunday morning and opened fire. The shooter, Omar Mateen was killed by police in what was the worst mass shooting in the nation’s history
Other local leaders to attend the event included Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando City Commissioner Robert Stuart, and State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, who is a member of the LGBTQ and Hispanic communities which man of the victims from the tragedy belonged to.
“It’s a beautiful gallery and exhibit that just so wonderfully captures the spirit and personality of each of the 49 and what’s great is that they’re featured individually so that everyone can see the life and spirit of each one” said Smith. “I’m proud of the city for doing this and it’s a beautiful way to remember the 49 who were taken.”