Two Junes in South Carolina have been tragic for some. George Stinney, Jr., the youngest person executed in the state, was only 14 years old in June of 1944 when he was sent to the electric chair. I found his story compelling and decided to paint him twice. Click on the left photo to link to his story which I posted in October, 2015.
The second June to bring despair to South Carolina occurred just last year, in 2015. I was actually out of town and watched the news as an outsider. The story unraveled about 9 people who were gunned down at a bible study group at Mother Emanuel Church and it became clear that racism is still an open wound in the Palmetto State. However, what was startling was the age of the accused shooter. He was 19 years old at the time. I thought that kind of hatred and racism belonged to earlier generations. My eyes are wide open. I created the painting below as a personal response to the Charleston Strong movement.
The building is shades of purple and gold to symbolize the clergy robes and that the strength of the church comes from its people. Thanks to Ann Beard Shahid for the photo.
Saint George of South Carolina, 12 x 15, oil on Gessoboard
Amazing Grace, Amazing Strength- Mother Emanuel, 12 x 16, oil on paper