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NKY exhibit shares faces of COVID-19 victims

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Posted at 11:36 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 17:49:06-04

A Northern Kentucky art exhibit is putting faces to the deadly impact COVID-19 has had on the local community.

Artists and families worked together to provide perspective about the losses that have devastated thousands of families in the Tri-State area.

"Loved the outdoors. He loved going to live music," said Susan Kinsella of her husband, Scott, who died from COVID-19. "Just a very vibrant, full of personality, very, very funny man."

Scott was just 56 when he got sick with the virus in November 2020. He was hospitalized for two and a half weeks before dying from the virus.

"The fact that this happened so all of a sudden, it still doesn't quite feel real to me even today," said Riley Kinsella, Sccott's son.

The Kenton County Public Library offered a way to pay tribute to COVID-19 victims in the area, and Susan jumped at the chance to include her husband, Scott, in the project.

The COVID Portrait Project features 24 works of art from 20 different artists, each one showing the real faces of people connected to the library who died from COVID-19.

"It's an expression to people that come to the library that we think about you, we care about you and when you're gone it's important that we don't want you to be forgotten," said Christian Schmit, programmer at Kenton County Public Library.

The portrait of Scott was created by artist Ron Prigat. Although the exhibit opened last month, Prigat was able to meet Scott's family in person for the first time Wednesday.

"As an artist I saw it as my obligation to do the best I can to capture something of the essence of Scott as a person and commemorate that," said Prigat.

The Kinsella family has already chosen a place to display the portrait at home. The portrait, alongside newly born granddaughter, Scotti Josephine -- named after a grandfather she never got to meet -- are two reminders of Scott's impact on the family.

"He was really looking forward to being a grandfather," said Riley.

The COVID Portrait Project will be on display at the William E. Durr branch of the Kenton County Public Library in Independence until Saturday.