EXCLUSIVE: Murder victim paintings
By Dana Griffin
PROVIDENCE, RI- A local artist is creating abstract paintings, immortalizing each person murdered in Providence.
These murders all share at least one thing in common; someone was left behind with that painful unanswered question: why?
“Somebody came up on him and shot him while he was in his car,” said Demitri Todd's Mother, Jalesha Todd.
19–year–old Demitri Todd was the third Providence murder of 2013.
Vanessa Hernandez is Charlie Otero's Mother. She said, “He was stabbed while he waited for the bus at Kennedy Plaza.”
18–year–old Charlie Otero was conscious long enough to name his killer.
Then, there's 21–year–old Henry Rodriguez.
His cousin, Esther Rosales said, “They ran him down with a car. So far, I understand there's no body brought accountable for it.”
14 people were murdered in Providence last year. These paintings represent some of them.
Crime scenes, faces, and stories intertwined in a 4 by 5 foot abstract painting created by 24–year-old, Jordan Seaberry.
“It's the most beautiful thing you can imagine, built out of the most tragic thing you could possibly picture,” said Seaberry.
Growing up in Chicago, Jordan says he could have easily been one of these men.
Seaberry said, “When we talk about street violence, and homicides we tend to write it off as this urban epidemic that doesn't affect anyone else.”
His inspiration comes from personal interviews with each of the victim's families and circumstances surrounding their murder.
“I think seeing these paintings means you saw what happened. And sharing that story means you were sitting on that mother's couch like I was,” said Seaberry.
Once Jordan puts on the finishing touches to his work, a few days later, the paintings are revealed for the first time.
Although these works of art will never replace their dead sons, fathers, and cousins, they're helping these loved ones feel their presence once again.
“There was a certain look that he had and I think with the eyes he captured, that's something he captured,” said Rosales.
“Jordan doesn't know what he's done to, for us,” said Hernandez.
Along with the larger paintings, Jordan created individual portraits that he gave to each mother.
“Ever since he gave me the portrait, it feels like I have him here,” said Hernandez.
These paintings will never bring closure to these families. They say closure doesn't exist.
Seaberry has partnered with the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non Violence.
Together, they are seeking funding to complete the remaining 11 paintings.
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