Final October, St. Petersburg, Florida, artist Margaret Bayalis, feeling burned out by the pandemic, was grappling with how to answer it visually.
She got here up with the thought to supply free painted portraits of people that died from COVID-19 to their family members. She reached out on the social media app Subsequent Door and instantly bought a number of requests.
Quickly, phrase unfold and she or he was getting queries from so far as Hawaii, Portugal and India.
“I by no means dreamed it could go to this point once I began” Bayalis stated.
So far, she’s created greater than 50 portraits. Alongside the best way, she created a collage of them.
“The numbers are upsetting,” she stated. “After I have a look at my collage, it looks like so many, but it surely’s a drop within the bucket in comparison with the numbers even in Florida. It’s overwhelming.”
Primarily a panorama painter, switching to portraiture was a “journey” that helped her choose up a brand new method.
In January, she began a Fb group known as Faces Not Numbers and invited different artists to hitch her mission. To this point, greater than 20 artists have joined and the web page has 200 members.
The group’s mission is to “use the therapeutic energy of artwork to create memorial portraits, freed from cost, of people misplaced to COVID-19 in an effort to consolation households and lift consciousness of the pandemic’s toll on life.”
Bayalis has made connections with the individuals who she’s given portraits to. She stated that whereas she paints the themes, she seems like she’s spending time with them and “honoring the lives they led.”
Pamela Davis of St. Petersburg reached out to Bayalis after seeing the Fb group. She misplaced her brother, Gary Joseph Eccher, in January. Bayalis provided to do a portrait of him and labored from his prayer card.
“She captured each side of his options, even the darkish circles beneath his eyes,” Davis stated. She broke down when she first noticed it and known as Bayalis a “fantastic girl.”
Davis appears to be like on the tribute day by day and has been sharing it on social media to indicate that “he’s a face, not a quantity.”
For Bayalis, the undertaking has helped her deal with the pandemic and allowed her to work together with extra individuals than ever.
“When it comes to being rewarding, there’s no technique to measure it,” she stated. “It’s been an actual good reciprocal factor.”
©2021 Tampa Bay Instances. Go to tampabay.com. Distributed by Tribune Content material Company, LLC.
©2021 Tampa Bay Instances. Go to at tampabay.com. Distributed by Tribune Content material Company, LLC.