Lehigh Valley

Nazareth artist starts Las Vegas Portraits project to honor victims of shooting

NAZARETH, Pa. - Some people are born with a gift.

"My passion has always been portrait drawing," explained Ellen Abramo, of Nazareth.

Abramo has also illustrated three children's books but she says her biggest gift is her six children.

She says it’s that motherly love that drew her to a particular project after the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando last year.

"When something evil like that happens I just feel like it's necessary for people to know that there are still people who care, there is still good in the world," said Abramo.

Abramo was one of 49 artists from across the country to create portraits to honor the victims from the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

Abramo painted a portrait of Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega.

"I just wanted to make sure that I paid him a good tribute. In honor of him and his family," said Abramo.

Then, when tragedy struck again in Las Vegas, Ellen was reminded of the 49 Portraits Project.

"Just a lot of families affected and a lot of people hurting and loved ones gone before they should be," said Abramo.

So, she said this time she'd organize volunteer artists from across the country to create the portraits of the 58 victims in Vegas.

"We are not looking for any particular style. Some people use charcoal, some people use oil paints, acrylic paint, or water color," explained Abramo.

Ellen says any artist who commits to the project will get a list of photos and a biography of each victim.

"As an artist, I know I don't create as well when I am not inspired," said Abramo.

With that in mind, Abramo’s allowing the artists to pick the person they are drawn to in order to help send the message to the victims’ families that their son, their daughter, their mother, and father mattered to everyone.

If you would like to participate in the Las Vegas Portraits project you can contact Ellen at lasvegasvictimsportraits@gmail.com or at the project’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/lasvegasmemorial/.

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