Local artist looks back on 2016 homicides through portraits - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Local artist looks back on 2016 homicides through portraits

Six people were killed near the Shelby Park neighborhood in 2016 and Jaylin Stewart painted their portraits as a way for the family members to meet their loved ones one more time. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Six people were killed near the Shelby Park neighborhood in 2016 and Jaylin Stewart painted their portraits as a way for the family members to meet their loved ones one more time. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A local artist is remembering the victims of last year's homicides in a special way.

Six people were killed near the Shelby Park neighborhood in 2016 and Jaylin Stewart painted their portraits as a way for the family members to meet their loved ones one more time.

Displayed at the gallery in Sojourn Church, Jaylin’s portraits brought several people. There was a discussion that followed afterward about gun violence in the city. Among those attending was Arquilla Booker, who lost her grandson August of 2016.

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“Handsome yeah, he’s a handsome boy, it’s my baby,” Booker said looking at the portrait of Troyvante’ Hurt.

It was her first time seeing her grandson like this.

“He had pretty eyelashes, yup, little chunk of meat, little fat little boy,” Booker said, chuckling.

The painting, Booker says, is just like how he used to be before August 24th of 2016.

“It’s just like him, just like it, yeah it looks just like him,” Booker said repeatedly. “That’s my baby.”

Booker says not a day goes by without her thinking about Troyvante'. To see him face-to-face like this,is priceless to her. It's all possible because of Stewart, who volunteered to paint these portraits.

“I don’t know any of these six victims personally, but I have gotten to know a lot of their families through the work that I do and it’s helped them heal,” Stewart said.

There were 118 homicides in Metro Louisville in 2016. Stewart says at some point, she got tired of counting.

“This is not just another homicide victim, this is not just the 107th or 108th victim being killed this year,” Stewart said. “This is another person. This is someone hundreds of people loved, someone hundreds of people knew.”

The art serves as a small but thoughtful gesture for those who lost their loved ones too soon. It also serves as a reminder for those looking.

WATCH: Sharon Yoo's report here.

“When you get ready to do something, just think about Troyvante’ pray a little harder, put the guns down stop the violence,” Booker said. “It’s really nothing but kids getting hurt, innocent kids.”

Stewart says once the exhibit is over in a few days she will be giving her paintings to the families who lost their loved ones, so 'they can have their baby back.'

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