Thursday, December 7, 2023
HomeWorldLatter-day Saint Artists Paints Uvalde Shooting Victims, Delivers Portraits to Families

Latter-day Saint Artists Paints Uvalde Shooting Victims, Delivers Portraits to Families

- Advertisment - Save on Great LDS Gifts

A Latter-day Saint artist known for painting portraits of missionaries who died while serving recently felt called to take on a new project—memorializing the 21 victims of the Uvalde school shooting. On May 24, 2022, 19 children between the ages of 9 and 11 and two teachers were slain by a lone gunman.

“It just broke my heart,” JR Johansen of Huntsville, Utah, told KSL News. “I thought, oh if I just weren’t so busy. I would love to paint a portrait for their parents because I believe it would bring them comfort.”

The idea stayed on Johansen’s mind until his brother and sister-in-law reached out. They just so happened to be on a leadership assignment for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Uvalde. They asked Johansen if he would consider painting a portrait of each of the victims. When the call came, Johansen knew he had to follow the prompting.

“I said well, you’re the answer because I’ve been wanting to do it and didn’t know how I would do it with the schedule I have,” Johansen said.

The first portraits were completed in August and by January 2023, Johansen arrived at the Salt Lake City International Airport with all the finished paintings. When he arrived in Uvalde, the loved ones of the victims came to pick up the portraits.

“It looks beautiful. I love it,” said Evadulia Orta, mother of 10-year-old Rojelio Torres. “It shows me him. This is how I saw him. I’m going to put him in my living room and see him every day.”

You can watch the feature from KSL below.

Featured Image by Tanner Seigworth
- Advertisment - LDS Scripture Study
Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

Church of Jesus Christ Responds to New Sex Abuse Investigation

A new investigation by the Associated Press claims The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prioritizes a "risk management playbook" designed...

What Does Christmas Mean to You? | 6 December 2023

Here’s your daily dose of what matters most! During the Christmas season, it's easy to get caught up in the festivities. However,...

WATCH: A Nativity Story in Time’s Square

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lit the world this Christmas by taking over the heart of New York City...

Elder Renlund Shares Touching Tribute to President Holland

Elder Dale G. Renlund has shared a touching tribute to President Jeffrey R. Holland as the latter begins his service as Acting...
- Advertisment -Color Scriptures from LDS Bookstore