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Kentucky artists create custom portraits of those who died from COVID-19

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Posted at 5:28 AM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 10:15:53-05

COVINGTON, Ky. — Many families who lost loved ones during the pandemic also lost a chance to say, "Goodbye." That is why some local artists are creating custom portraits of people who died from COVID-19, so their families can have a memorial service.

Christian Schmit works at the Kenton County Library and he also launched the COVID Portrait Project at the library.

Schmit asked the community to share photos of loved ones who died from COVID-19, and he takes those photos and gives them to local artists, who create the custom portraits. Right now, there are 15 artists working on 30 portraits.

"We understand the transformative power of art, that art has a power of its own," Dave Schroeder, the library's executive director, said. "It's a little different than having a photograph of a loved one. Art is an expression of love and an expression that an artist has put their time and energy in so that portrait has that very special meaning."

The program is not taking any new photos right now while they work on the 30 portraits they have. Once those are finished, the program will open back up so people can submit their pictures for portraits.