EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Earlier this year, artists across Texas started to come together to participate in painting murals for the 19 children and two teachers that were killed at Robb elementary back in May.
With 10 years of painting murals, El Paso Muralist Albert Tino Ortega says, two Uvalde artists reached out to him to give back to the community by painting the 21 murals for the 21 individuals that lost their lives.
Each mural represents each child from what they liked, to what they did. For instance Jose, playing baseball, Rogelio loving Pokémon, to Xavier being an honor roll student.
Ortega says painting these beautiful yet colorful murals for the families in Uvalde made him feel special.
“You know you want to go there and know you did the best job. Not for yourself, not for anyone else, other than the parents. When I was there it was gratifying, you know just that affirmation from them because to me that was that one audience that I care about the most,” Ortega said.
Although the murals started in June, he painted the final mural for the project, taking him 3 to 4 days.
Ortega tells KTSM that he decided to invite Jayla’s and Jose’s family to take part in the creation of these murals.
Adding, because it is one thing to see your kid in a painting but to know you helped to create it is something unbelievable.
“Like Jose’s family, his dad had primary custody of him, so when I first got to meet him he was closed off, very short but as he saw the mural progress you can see him just holding back to tears, you can see that he sees his son in a portrait and to me that is what is really important,” Ortega said.
He adds, just to see the families faces light up after looking at the murals is what makes his job worth it.
With every mural being different, his goal was to make a positive impact towards each family member. Which is what he did by bringing them hope.
With murals of showing their different interests, such as Jayce liking Sponge Bob, Jailah loving Tik-Tok and many more with their loving pets and favorite hobbies these children all enjoyed.
To support the Uvalde students going back to school today, don’t forget to wear maroon.