This 6′ × 24′ graffiti mural is the work of Gamma Acosta, Longmont, Colo. “Crayons” is his statement about the Sandy Hook school massacre, done a day later. It’s gone now, boards and all, to an anonymous art collector who wanted it preserved. Normally Acosta, who paints on his uncle’s vacant building, would have painted over it to make way for his next mural. This is the first time in five years that one of his murals has been preserved. The collector will replace the planks.
When I first saw “Crayons” during a local TV interview with Acosta, I thought it was powerful, a kick in the gut, heart-wrenching. The horror of that day summed up in a single image. An unforgettable statement about something we must never forget.
Then I found a very long discussion about it on Reddit, and it seemed mine was very much a minority opinion. Most people there seem to think it’s shocking, awful, repulsive, etc. Yes, it is. But that’s the point. Isn’t it? To make sure we never forget. I know I’ll never forget this mural.
I think the discussion got started badly when the person who posted the picture described it as his friend’s Sandy Hook “tribute” mural. It was a reaction to Sandy Hook, but it’s obviously not a tribute in the sense of a sweet, gentle memorial to the victims.
I don’t know. What do you think?
(The story, more photos, and video interview with Acosta at the Longmont Times-Call. Or watch the interview on YouTube.)
- Colo. mural in response to Newtown preserved (sfgate.com)
- Longmont mural honoring Sandy Hook school victims to be preserved (denverpost.com)
- Gamma Gallery (facebook.com)
- Gamma Gallery (gammagallery.com)
- A friend of mine created this Sandy Hook tribute mural … (reddit.com)
- A friend of mine created this Sandy Hook tribute mural … (imgur.com)
170 thoughts on “Acosta’s ‘Crayons’ mural recalls Sandy Hook”
As a tribute, I could see why it would be leveled with such claims; it certainly isn’t the cheeriest thing I have ever seen. As a reaction to what happened, though, it is quite incredible. I agree with you entirely on that.
i thought the image was very powerful and i got the concept before knowing what it was about. there is nothing sweet to say about 20 children getting shot…while playing with crayons.
Yes its very bold, once you realize what its portraying. A very deep piece of art.
I agree with you, this picture says it all. It immediately captures the horror of innocence shattered, no words needed. This should be the image for the anti-gun lobby.
I’m with you, PT. It recreates the act itself: it is a tale retold. People would be shocked because it emulates the original act. But I think it finds a way of portraying the horror, without the distress and paraphernalia of death. As such, I think it is an essential piece of commentary: something a class of schoolchildren could discuss, a way of talking about what has happened in a symbolic way.
I think “a tale retold” is the perfect way to describe this. i find nothing awful or shocking about the mural. Rather, I find it a poignant way to encapsulate the emotion.
While I am about the farthest you can get from an art historian, I think this young artist has real talent. To me the value of art is to replicate some unique subject of perception, whether it be of humanity or of nature, and present it as a snapshot that engenders emotion. Acosta’s vision is one of innocence being assailed by overwhelming violence. Sums it up well, in my opinion.
What a talented artist. As a reaction piece, I appreciate the work; it is both simple in the very subject matter, yet off the chart in meanings the viewer can apply. I do not enjoy photos of crime scenes and would be repulsed had such a photo been released. This piece is visually intriguing while simultaneously conveying the horrors without a single word or photographic image. ‘Crayons’ will be remembered for the tragedy long after the media stories all fade away. I would be interested in following this young man and viewing his artistic statements on other incidents and issues. (Hope a few are even happy). Thanks for writing about this one, PT–
There’s a story and video about a 9/11 mural he did last year. But I think ‘Crayons’ is by far his best work. Its simplicity and impact set it apart. And to think he does it all with spray cans …
That’s a gorgeous mural and one of the best comments about the school slaying ever. Reality is often hard to face. (you feel the artist’s emotions)
Glad it’s saved.
It makes violence beautiful, but only in the sense of how it can create instant emotion.
I think it’s very relevant, depicting something that relates to young children. It’s obviously very well composed and executed and the little red heart gives it a little poignancy. I love it.
I think its pretty excellent commentary although it is shocking and disturbing. I think the mural does a good job of demonstrating the shattering impact that the shooting had on the children’s innocence and worldview, without showing unnecessary gore or blood. The mural also points to the needless destruction of such young lives. I think its also a good wakeup call, and contributes to the current public discourse on gun control.
I think this mural is gorgeous. I am glad it has been preserved. Is it shocking? Yes. So were the events that it is a response to. Sometimes, like in this case, art speaks better than words ever could.
Reblogged this on Cerulean Starshine and commented:
Gorgeous mural..sad subject.
I totally agree with you. A powerful statement.
I love it. I think it’s a striking way of expressing the emotions that are attached to the event. I think people misconstrue what art is about by thinking that everything is required to be a memorial, or a positive rendition (even of negative and horrific events and emotions). I find in my own art that people do not understand that the darker and less understandable sides of life need to be expressed as well
I think it’s brilliant.
I’m no art expert but, wow. It’s hard to look at, but if art is meant to evoke emotion…mission accomplished. It’s also this artist’s perception of the tragedy. It’s not repulsive; it’s simply how he sees it.
Whatever its intentions it’s a powerful piece. I guess we, as humans, need symbols to signpost our unravelling of events which initially defy comprehension.
I love crayons and children but I don’t know if I like this use of them together. It is good though to show emotions on what happened at Sandy Hook, however I think it is best that this creation is no longer around and I hope that those in Sandy Hook heal fast. Thanks for sharing this blog.
I think it is a touching and shocking piece but I can’t imagine being the collector wanting to keep it. If I saw it I’d cry every day.
Very powerful piece. Thanks for sharing.
wow… what a statement piece! Glad it was preserved and not destroyed but also thankful it’s hidden away now. Time to move past the tragedy and not dwell on the horror of it all. Thank you for sharing this!
Beautiful and heartfelt. A tribute doesn’t have to be something sanitized or whitewashed, just an intersection between an artist and those who inspired it. This represents a desire to interpret and get through emotions stirred up by something so horrific. We can’t hide these things away in the dark.
Thanks for posting! Would you mind if I reblogged this? Very powerful stuff here.
Reblogging would be great. I’d like more people to see this. Thank you.
Reblogged this on Matt Thomas.
Thanks, Matt. Much appreciated.
Those colours are great! So Realistic!
Such a powerful piece of art.
It’s breathtaking. I’m not sure I agree with other commenters who are glad it’s gone, though. Considering the increasing frequency of tragedies like these, the dialogue inspired by this piece can only help. Thanks for posting this.
Reblogged this on Bok the Economist.
This just shows that in our own ways we could express our feelings, we could react on everything that is happening around us. Such a powerful piece. Such a beautiful work of art. Kudos to the artist and kudos to you for posting.
Would you mind if I reblogged it?
Reblog away! I’d love to have more people see this mural. Thanks for asking.
It is a shocker the moment you see it, and you don’t want to look at it anymore. But, when you think about it is portraying the reality. If a simple image through crayons is able to put us, grown adults off, imagine how horrible the actual incident would have been? And who were the victims? Little kids, who hasn’t even seen the world yet.
So when you think about it, this powerful imagery makes sure of one thing, it makes sure we don’t forget , we don’t try to shut it out just like the first time we saw the mural.
It is staying true, and we need to stay true to ourselves too and deal with the reality,
That is the whole purpose of the mural to make people think. Good post.
I find it to be very moving, which is the point really. In finding out it’s a work related to Sandy Hook, it takes you to a very dark place and forces you to really face up to the concrete horrors of the tragedy that most people don’t want to fully process, not just yet anyway. I think the reaction of anger, anger at the artist even, is quite a natural response. But I am certainly able to appreciate the artist’s efforts and how his work succeeds here — it gnaws at our conscience and makes us feel uncomfortable, as it should.
Thank you for sharing this powerful image – I commend the artist for taking on this painful topic and its unavoidable accompanying comment on our society.
Who has not held a Crayola crayon in their hand and it not bring back a memory? Did you draw randomly on a piece of paper? Was it a card you made for your mother or father on their special day? Were you the type to emphasize the lines with a black crayon and then strategically chose a colour? Did you press hard to darken the colour or did you fade it in and out? We all have a memory of a crayon when we were younger. Seeing the violence in those broken crayons, says it all.
Thanking for sharing this mural and story. If it wasn’t for you, it would be one I would know nothing about.
I’m glad that it’s preserved, although it would have been a significant “statement” to whitewash over it — erasing it in concert with its (unfortunate) disappearance from the news cycle and popular discussion.
we need more art like this in the world: art that peels away the facade to reveal our own brokenness, not art that tries to paint over realities.
I think you were correct to post it. Substituting absence and loss of these innocent children with the synecdoche of crayons, choosing to reveal the terror through this fractured moment is empowering rather than a repetition of the real terror of that event. If he had portrayed the realism of the event that would have been a deadly voyeurism. Instead he chose the hyperrealism of these crayons exploding across the pure white boards, forever imprinting on us the truth of a judgment beyond appeal.
Yet, even in this loss (anxious as we are for those parents who have lost so much), we realize that the artist has caught in this event of art the fractured guilt and shame of our own dark complicity, a judgment on the senselessness, violence, and terror of our society that allows such things to go on. Are we not seeing in our time in the acts of rage a deep rift within our way of life? What is it telling us about a society in which such things can happen? Is the rage of an artist at such senseless violence something we should judge or is it rather that we are judged by it?
Powerful. The mural really sparks emotion.
As a reminder of the heinous crime of that day,I think think this mural expresses a lot in a very powerful way.But I wouldn’t take it as a tribute.It’s rather a meaningful expression of what happened that day.
Crayons breaking up and then thinking about the lives that were taken innocent children similarity here. I just can’t put words to this right now.
I think it’s pretty brilliant – it’s shocking and awful, just like the event itself was, without being horror-movie disgusting. Thanks for sharing a powerful depiction of a very sad, painful event.
This is truly remarkable. I don’t know that I find it shocking – it was painted in Colorado and if I had seen it by the road I probably would not have put two and two together immediately – but wow, the impact when I realized what it was would have been incredible. It’s direct and (once you get it) horror-inducing – inducing of the memory of the horror, anyway – without being unsubtle. In my opinion it works far, far better as a memorial – in the sense of memorial as a thing for memory, for remembrance – than something remotely sentimental would. Major kudos to the artist, and thanks for posting this.
Crayons… I haven’t used crayons much!
Really moving stuff.. Intense and powerful…
This is a beautiful piece of artwork. The incident is heart breaking to all of us. To the victim families, stay strong.
My eye caught the piece before I saw your title…Less than an instant I knew exactly. Sandy Hook took the world as one and collectively broke it’s heart.
Mr. Acosta’s work evokes so much power and evidence. It proves how deeply he personally was touched, angered and heartbroken. What a truly gifted man.
I find no fault with this Art piece, none. It is powerful, moving and accurate. It should serve as a constant reminder, lest the world continue to move on without making the changes we all so desperately agree need to be made.
Even in Australia we were horrified at the news of the massacre. As a grandfather with the most beautiful grandchildren I was filled with heartache by what we saw and heard, This mural is both colourful and poignant and helps to relieve the heart of the horror. The painting is a truly wonderful response and it is good that it will be preserved for the future.
I believe this is an incredible expression in such a small form. It has a huge meaning. I can agree it wouldn’t be a “tribute” but more of a memorial to the tragic events. It’s a great piece of artwork!
I think it’s amazing and powerful – and it should be preserved. It is a reminder of how our world shatters in the blink of an eye – and the horrors that one person can bring upon a community. This act was not soft and sad – it was brutal and cruel and life changing. It touched hundreds of people and rippled out like a stone in water. My friend & her family live in the next town over and their lives are forever changed – her children are scared and she has to figure out a way to assure them that they are safe – and she knows that even that is not true. So yes, this art should be shocking – what happened was shocking.
This art seems a sincere reaction to the events. He is an artist using symbols to express something meaningful to him and it is the kind of art that will generate a reaction, even unthinking ones from people who find it uncomfortable. Art’s purpose is not to make us feel comfortable but to help us see something differently. My only issue is the addition of the heart – artists should never strive to pull at the heartstrings. The crayons in this instance say all that needs to be said.
Totally agree with you. Thank you for sharing and opening my eyes to this amazing and powerful work of life.
A really powerful image, and I’m glad it has been preserved.
I for one never looked twice at graffiti, seems like you are trying to create art where it doesn’t belong (like the side of a building, or a train, or a cube van), but, that was then. This mural changes my perception of graffiti. The message hits home, very well. you have a winner
Thx for sharing
Reblogged this on tutordoctorwny01 and commented:
I just came across this and just find it really powerful. To me the artist really captured the essence of the pain, suffering and loss.
This mural is touching, and bring tears to my eyes. For me, it brings the horror of that day to life in a way the pictures of the victims haven’t. I’m glad it was preserved.
I love it. It is a sobering reminder of that terrible day. It is original, and depending on his intent with this piece, even tasteful. Based on my personal interpretation of the art, I am touched by it, remembering their innocent smiling faces.
It is powerful, and I like it even if he called it a “tribute”. It tells me to never forget and to try to make sure it never happens again – the best tribute we could give these children, imho.
Reblogged this on ecomom22 and commented:
Not a Memorial, but certainly brings your attention, take it for what it is, a beautiful piece of art – a tribute.
Take it for what it is a powerful piece of art, a tribute, not a meorial to raise awareness to your feelings and understand that this should never happen again. Well written, hope you don’t mind I reblogged I thought other should see this as well! Thank you – http://www.ecomom22.com
Thx. Normally I don’t like to be reblogged, but this mural is a special case. I’d like others to see it.
Reblogged this on Katherine McDaniel, soprano and commented:
This is beautiful, a poignant memorial to youth cut down by death. A memorial doesn’t have to be sanitized. Where our sorrow meets their loss, we paint our anger, our grief, and our gratefulness. Some may find it offensive or upsetting, but it is true to them and to ourselves. Beautiful post reblogged from Pied Type.
I reblogged it twice because I put it on the wrong website. So, the post is now visible on synkroniciti.com. Thanks so much for sharing this.
There’s no question about the horror of the circumstance, but I agree that this is a very powerful piece of work. It’s difficult to take a position on such a sensitive subject, but it’s a beautiful piece of art… bit of a shame it’s not on display but understandable given the sensitive area
It is magnificent. WordPress definitely got this FP right! Thank you for sharing it.
Reblogged this on Featherblues53's Blog and commented:
A vibrant reminder.
This is beautiful. Of course, it’s also shocking and horrible. But beauty doesn’t have to be pretty.
i think the piece is powerful in its symbolism, style, and ability to make others uncomfortable. thank you for sharing.
Thank you for rekindling this conversation. I agree that the other article’s comments were sadly one-sided. The most frequently reoccurring descriptive word that I see for it in these comments (admittedly, I didn’t tally exact numbers) is “powerful” or a synonym for the same. I think your presentation of the piece was more in-line with the artist’s intentions. It was a reaction, not a tribute. And I must say, it really was quite powerful.
As a young child, a broken crayon can ruin our happiness momentarily. If the crayon is our favorite color, it can ruin all the enjoyment in our coloring… Crayons are a staple of childhood, a way to develop creativity and for one to express oneself.
The Sandy Hook tragedy broke all of the crayons.
I think this is a great expression of what happened, and I can see how and why he would express it in this manner.
I love it.
Very Powerful and moving concept.
Reblogged this on I Had To Let You See This Today and commented:
A stirring piece.
I probably wouldn’t have seen this if you hadn’t posted (and been Fresh Pressed, congratulations to you and thanks to Word Press for a most excellent choice). I’m not going to read the Reddit discussion; it doesn’t matter to me at this moment in time what anyone else thinks about the mural. I think it is an incredibly painful, sad, beautiful, and touching memorial. It would have been appropriate if it had not been preserved, as the childrens’ lives weren’t either. But then maybe I wouldn’t have experienced this (no suitable adjective exists) event on another level the way the crayons compel me to do.
Before I mention the reaction piece, I’d like to say that I appreciate how you represented this information, without undue bias and ended it with an admittance that you “didn’t know” and an opening for discussion. Kudos to you.
Perhaps the distaste and outrage over this image is due to the fact that when you see this portrayal of violence & innocence, we get angry all over again. The anger is not necessarily at the artist but at the situation that prompted the artist. If we were to break it down, it’s not the broken crayons (we’ve all stepped on a Crayola or two) or the implication of shooting (no bullets are actually shown) that upsets people. One sees that image and feels that tidal wave of emotions again: Defenselessness for those children and the children in your life. Anger at that defenselessness. Angry that the world produces people who do terrible shit like that. A deep, crush your soul kind of sadness for the little lives that will never be and their families.
Lastly, art has four pillars in it’s foundation: the artists expression, it’s ability to make one reflect and ponder life, it’s reflection upon society and it’s visual appeal. Is this mural not all four?
Very powerful, it touched my heart.
I find nothing at all offensive in this mural. So much of today’s artistic expressions are, in my opinion, purposefully shocking and in bad taste, but this is brilliantly creative, expressive and evokative without painfully graphic images. Thanks for this post.
Love this! Great work of art!
Reblogged this on From the Peripheral of a Mad Man and commented:
I found this very moving. This mural is so powerful- but simple. Well done.
A powerful, simple, moving message
It speaks volumes of the tragic day!
Definitely should be shown off,
But of course delicately described as it is a fresh wound.
Whatever one would like to call it, it is powerful. I think, even if we didn’t know the story behind it (which I have never seen this until reading this post), we would think Sandy Hook. That’s power.
Reblogged this on aimlesslywandering and commented:
Very powerful image sending across a very strong message. If this is not a great piece of Art, I don’t know what is.
I whole heartedly agree with you.
The message is so frontal cortex. The situation made me sick to my stomach. The mural gave the horrible act the question of why.
It may not be a tribute succinctly to the children but I think it definitely comments on the larger picture, by encompassing the fact that a Gun Discussion must be had in America. I think it brilliantly blends the principal reactions experienced by people from different vantage points; those who immediately mourn for the loss of young life, and those who anger more at the climate that can cause this loss. …A luminous juxtaposition of hideousness on innocence.
This is intense! Street art at it’s best.
Reblogged this on workfromhomesweethome and commented:
An amazing piece of art, capturing the sadness of Sandy Hook.
Wow, such a beautiful mural. It is so innocent like those children yet so untaimed just as the situation was. It is wonderful to see someone honoring those who were hurt. It looked wonderful as well, you can feel the emotion and I think that speaks louder than any words can. May God comfort those who were affected. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
Reblogged this on flytothecityofangels.
I am always in awe when something so amazing is born out of something so ugly
Reblogged this on revabourgasser and commented:
The more I look at it the more I love it!
What a talented artist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I agree with you. No one needs to know the details of the incident to tell the gut-wrenching pain exuding from this piece. The other reason I like it is that – and here I may make enemies – memorials need not necessarily be about closure. A war memorial, with its cold, calligraphied list of the dead, or avenues of cute white crosses in a landscaped graveyard doesn’t really mask the horror of so many dead. In our effort to show sympathy, I wouldn’t condemn an innocent artist’s (just) expression of the incident.
First congratulations on your Freshly Pressed.This artwork should be shared, but I must say though it caught my attention immediately, I delayed opening the link to your blog because I just couldn’t steel myself up to hear more about that tragedy. But when I did, when I saw that the post wasn’t recapping the horrors but providing a vivid and honest interpretation of the events, I was so glad to have clicked the link. I’m sorry it’s no longer available to see, in person. But I am quite a distance from being one of the grieving parents of the lost children and teachers. I can empathize with their loss, but not feel it’s magnitude, so I would want to know that the people of the town who experienced the loss, understood it as a tribute; in the chance that they did not understand, I am glad it was not placed in their community. I think it is wonderful, I love the small features: the heart, the placement of the primary colors versus the black and white. Such a strong statement.
I think this mural is beautifully heart-wrenching. It speaks to the viewer and displays the innocence that was taken away from the families, the school, the community, the country. It is certainly thought provoking. It definitely deserves to be preserved and by no means to I see it as a ‘tribute’. I see it more as a memorial, a statement to the country that this senseless killing and abuse firearms, and the mental health of the country needs attention.
it’s a tough subject to comment on, because so many people feel personally affected even when they knew no one involved. everyone has a child in their life that they thought of. i think it is a beautiful piece of work, and it speaks plainly for itself, and shouldn’t be condemned. great post.
I agree with you. The word ‘tribute’ is perhaps misleading. This is as you say a reaction, a commentary or a statement and it uses symbolism as its language, which I think people often tend to object to, finding symbols disquieting. Coupled with an emotionally charged subject like Sandy Hook I think his work was bound to go explosive.
The mural is powerful, it is a reminder of the school shooting by showing the crayons in broken pieces. It depicts the shattering of hearts and innocent souls of the children and teachers taken away from us that day at Sandy Hook Elementary. And, the pain and suffering of each family member within that community because of this heinous act. In the article the Artist says “It’s open to interpretations. People are gonna see a lot of deeper things than I realized,” he said. This mural is a daily reminder of the school tragedy to remember the victims and the impact this horrific act incurred on the community and on a national level. However, I do not see it as a Tribute other than it being exchanged to the Art Collector for replacing the Mural wall to collect this depiction of the incident to share with others and remember. Looking at this mural it is a Reminder of the innocent lives taken away that day. This mural is a Memorial.
I look at the picture and see a representation of lost innocence of our youth because they are being pushed by media, adults(parents alike) and society to grow up and be adult before they are even ten. The fact that fashion, cosmetics, relationship and money are even a part of their everyday conversations is appalling to me in that all they should be concerned with is their family, cleanliness, manners & consideration of others around them, learning, getting their proper sleep and interacting with other children appropriately. Allowing/encouraging children to grow up fast(beyond their years) without the basic growing skills deprives them of their childhood fantasies, imagination and common logic to solve problems. Don’t confuse awareness with lending allowed behaviors.
I think its a powerful piece! Even if the mural had nothing to do with a specific tragic event it would still grab me and I assume many others as well and force us to think about the fragility of innocence.
As for the heated discussion about the mural, some people simply do not understand art. They have a limited use for art and can’t see that art not only celebrates but also responds, remembers and inspires. Art is not easily defined because the uses and needs varies from person to person. Where one artist would create a “tribute” another artists would choose to “respond”. I agree with you the choice of words was probably the issue, but grown people should still be able to understand that not everyone uses the proper words to express themselves or something that moved them, especially in the heated moment.
I LOVE the simplicity of the crayons. Exploding crayons? Heart wrenching indeed. I am from Littleton, Colorado and was a freshman in high school when the Columbine High School massacre occurred. I remember the sound of ambulances and our school was in lock down for the day. That shooting was the catalyst for Michael Moores Bowling for Columbine. I live in front of a graveyard that houses the cross memorials for all the victims of that day in 1999. The true tragedy is that this isn’t the beginning. And probably not the end. Maybe it is the end? If anything it seems we are becoming more creative about the ways to mourn and respect the victims, and we are moving away from idolizing the culprits. Maybe it is a beginning for something to change… Well done on the mural.
I thought this looked familiar when i saw it on the FP’d thumbnails. Such a beautiful piece of work.
Reblogged this on LettersHead and commented:
Wow. I seldom reblog, but I found this image powerful and I admire the courage and vision and skill of the artist who painted it only a day after the tragedy when most of us were in a daze in front of our screens. I am grateful, too, that someone provided a way to preserve it.
I think it’s deeply emotional and moving – as all artwork should be. I believe it very accurately portrays the visceral reaction we ALL felt when we heard about Sandy Hook. I’m thankful to the artist for sharing his work with us – it takes a lot of courage to display your emotional pain so openly.
“Art: (noun) The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, often in a visual form such as painting or sculpture,…: Works produced by such skill and imagination.” While this is just a generic and limiting definition of art (if it could be defined), that’s exactly what we are looking at. I read the Reddit comments. I can empathize and understand why people may be offended by the piece as a tribute, as the sensitivity of this subject is so profound- and many expect to find a I am not in the shoes of those who are living through the pain of a murdered child or loved one. But as work of art, it is doing it’s job. It may shock, evoke unbearable emotion, make you angry. It probably should. I think it is a beautiful, powerful, and heart wrenching piece. Mr. Acosta’s talent is undeniable both technically and conceptually. What is even more important is that we can find ways to come together from all ends of the spectrum, talk, be kind, and try to figure out what we can do as a nation to prevent further such tragedy. I wish i knew.
What a striking image. I’ve been consumed by the Sandy Hook tragedy, and when I saw this picture I felt not just the raw power of it, but a protective twinge toward the victims’ families; this impulse was worry about whether they would feel the imagery trivialized what had happened.
Ultimately, I think the image does anything but. What better way to capture the disconnect between what we expect of a child’s day in elementary school and the awful massacre of December 14. The image is horrifying, heartbreaking, and poignant, and what got me most was the little heart with its dual significance. Just as hearts were literally stopped in the tragedy, hearts are what many little children draw with their crayons.
Thanks for sharing this pic as I would otherwise never have seen it. And congratulations to the artist for creating such a bold image.
Indeed, a poignant way to remember and honor the little lives that were taken that awful day.
I Remembered My Childhood….
Reblogged this on Pier Carlo Lava.
People will always be sensitive about something like the sad event that happened in Sandy Hook. I read the other day that after one teen wrote about it, her teacher “found” the poem – it was among her personal affects, not a work assignment – and she was expelled. Thus, the point, people have diff sensitivities. I personally feel that this artist put into art what actually happened that day. That was his point to depict what happened. And what happened was not pretty at all.
I’m a mom. The mural is profound. It moved me (to tears). There is a simple beauty to it that speaks of anger & sadness to me and tells me never to forget. Very powerful. Thank you for sharing.
Reblogged this on Just Scribbling.
I love this- beautiful image -fits perfectly in my opinion
I agree, it’s powerful and profound, it speaks directly to the heart. Beautiful.
I’m glad that someone has made something beautiful out of such a melancholy disaster… although bright, vibrant and eye catching, the deeper meaning behind it acts as a perfect tribute to the loss of the children who sadly were lost in this tragedy. This provides a powerful reminder of the children lost. Powerful and inspiring!
I think it’s powerful. I am glad it’s being preserved, though I can’t say I’d have the strength to look at it every day. Amazing how much emotion a few crayons, thoughtfully rendered can evoke.
It’s very beautiful and poignant. Thanks for sharing.
It makes me speechless. You look at it and yes, there is an aspect of beauty in this mural, but it is a certain type of beauty. One that hits you, and hits you hard. It is an amazing way to show a reaction to the atrocities that took place on that awful day. I for one, am drawn to this artwork and can’t help but to appreciate the shock factor that this piece creates.
I think it’s wonderful. My 9th grade students always ask me why they have to learn so much about the Holocaust and I always remind them that it’s because they can never forget that horror. I’m going to show them this and see what they think. I think it captures childhood and horror all at once. We remember.
It is absolutely a tribute. I cannot see how people would take it in the wrong way. He so clearly portrayed what happened in such a moving way. It is beautiful.
This artwork not only depicts the gentle, innocent nature of the victim but also shows the disgustingly violent and unmerited death of the those children and adults. Memorials are not always meant to give us a warm feeling. I support the artist and their expression! Bless them all!
As a statement of lost innocence it is a perfect display. Immediately people around me started complaining about their gun rights being taken away. I live in a very pro-gun conservative state and one man’s first comment was to say Obama will use this event to take away guns. Twenty young lives were senselessly taken and his immediate reaction was to protect his guns. I do support the 2nd Admendment but thought his insensitivity was beyond amazing. It also leads to the more basic question – how much do we value freedom? Personally the Freedom of Speech is the one I hold most dear but how about freedom in general? The fact is the more freedom a society has the more risk a society has. The more chance for an event like this to happen. Are we willing to give up some freedom, to lock down our schools, to fill them with armed guards, to make going to class like going on a flight? When you go past TSA at the airport your constitutional rights go bye-bye. Do we want our schools and shopping malls to be that safe? What are we willing to give up?
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Reblogged this on Blue Batting Helmet and commented:
This is the first time I’ve ever reblogged anything, but I really think this needs to be seen. I’ve written about Sandy Hook and guns in general on this site, but the power of this image far exceeds anything that I could ever do.
I reblogged this on BlueBattingHelmet, after reading comments to the effect that you were OK with it. What a powerful metaphor for childhood being destroyed in a horrific fashion.
I came across a video online of some guy in Tennessee firing a Bushmaster assault weapon similar to the one used in Sandy Hook. He shot up a six-pack of soda, and it shattered in such a horrifying fashion that I may never be able to forget it. And to imagine what those children felt in the classroom is just sickening.
Thanks for sharing this. People need to see it and think about its meaning.
Reblogged this on k a t h e r i n e | her aesthetics.
I totally agree with you. I love it. It is powerful and perfect! I am surprised that it was seen so negatively. It is amazing! Thank you for sharing it. I would probably never had seen it if it werent for your post.
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Reblogged this on loveallserveall4ever.
It captures in one shocking image the violence, sadness and impropriety of the event. It is very well done. So glad the image will continue to memorialize those lost.
I think this mural does exactly what art is supposed to do: stir emotions, create dialogue, be provocative, preserve an idea, capture essence…
It’s very powerful, succinct, apt. I realize not everyone will want to be confronted by a violent image, and to each her own, but I am moved and grateful he made this.
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Reblogged this on TactualTextiles and commented:
This, I thought, was worth reblogging.
Reblogged this on lifepassion and commented:
Just had to share this one!
I totally agree with your assessment of the piece. It’s a beautiful way to capture the youthful colorful spirits of the children and their heroic teachers, and the tragedy that occurred. It’s a reaction, we all had them. Some of us express it better than others in poetry, music, art, words, or silence but people shouldn’t judge people’s reaction as right or wrong. Love will heal. Anger means the gunman won by tearing us apart.
I was struck by the image. A wordless picture that says a thousand words. Thank you for sharing this!
People are driven to criticize anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. This mural is uncomfortable. LIFE, is uncomfortable. Having your baby shot down in their own classroom is the most uncomfortable you can be as a parent, I can only imagine. People need to grow up and stop trying to appease themselves. We’re not suppose to be comfortable on this earth. We’re supposed to care for one another to help them deal with the uncomfortable nature of life while we dwell here on it. To make it bearable. Livable. To foster joy and love in a hostile world. If people keep avoiding discomfort, it doesn’t matter what your belief system is, change will never happen and things will get worse. There’s a difference between pessimism and pragmatism. I’m actually an optimist, but I’m also objective. I am one who has not forgotten. I never will. That is my promise to those families. I intend to keep it.
It remind the precise moment of childhood registered in ours image store- that we call mind- off the disappointment and angers that generates a broken crayons. We accept the fact but we continue to paint with the pieces.
Reblogged this on herowley and commented:
Even though I am slightly late on reblogging this post, I couldn’t not. The mural is visually powerful, however I also understand the controversy behind the ”tribute”. As powerful as the concept is, I don’t understand why someone would want to preserve something that represents such a devastating act of violence.
reminds me of my grade school days.. this is so refreshing. i love it.
Keep doing you man, Nice work. Dont listen to the haters
Not sure this is shocking, but it captures the horror in the poetry of the image… It is what poetry does… Expresses so much in a few brush strokes. Glad it has captured attention. We need more of this to keep us thinking toward change. To never forget our task should be about life and creating rather than destroying.
The power of art so we remember is a good thing. It wasn’t a pretty day & art isn’t always pretty but it is powerful.
It’s a fantastic piece of art, I can see why the collector wanted to preserve it.
Really great mural. Nice article too man! Solid work.
To me this image reflects how easily innocence is shattered. Beautiful commemoration, and also very sad.
I am a Newtown resident. It’s been over two years and this is the image I often seek out and reflect upon. It so clearly represents what I feel in my soul. The healing from this event is painfully slow.