Savannah artist uses art for healing, tribute after Pulse massac - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah artist uses art for healing, tribute after Pulse massacre

Display at Orlando City Hall (Source: Mia Merlin) Display at Orlando City Hall (Source: Mia Merlin)
YImary Rodriguez (Source: 49portraits.com) YImary Rodriguez (Source: 49portraits.com)
Luis Daniel Conde  (Source: 49portraits.com) Luis Daniel Conde (Source: 49portraits.com)
Amanda Alvear  (Source: 49portraits.com) Amanda Alvear (Source: 49portraits.com)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A Savannah artist and Armstrong State professor is using her artwork and connections for a tribute to the Pulse nightclub victims.

Forty-nine portraits of the victims are on display at the Orlando City Hall. Mia Merlin got the idea from a similar effort after the Charleston church shooting.

She started reaching out to artists who may be interested in painting a mural of a victim. Artists from all over the country painted one portrait each. Her original sadness and feeling of helplessness after the attacks spurred this project.

"Overwhelmingly, [the feedback] has been extremely positive. It's just been a very emotional reception from families and from friends and even people who didn't know anyone involved have just been touched," said Mia Merlin.

Merlin said she originally had doubts about how it would all come together.

The artwork has been on display in the city hall since May 1. On Friday, they will take them down and mail them to family members of each victim. You can view all 49 portraits on this website

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