Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Orlando Urban Sketchers outing to Pulse.

On September 11th, I hosted a sketch outing for local artists to the Pulse nightclub. This was the site of the horrific shorting that happened on the morning of June 12, 2016 that left 49 people dead and 53 injured from the gun shots of a madman.  The fence that was put around the nightclub has become a memorial where people come from around the world to pay their respects to those that died.

I chose the date because September 11th was the date that 9/11 happened in New York City and September 12 would mark 3 months since the June 12th shooting. I decided to set the time at 6pm since sunset would happen at 7:30 that evening. It would be cooling down and there would be shade from the fence.

I started sketching as soon as I arrived. One other sketcher, Viviana Castro stopped by with her boyfriend.  When you sit with a sketchbook in your lap at a site like this, people consider something of an expert. A man in green military shorts told me that he had visited the site often and he had brought his girlfriend from Ohio to the the site for the first time. "It changes every time I come here." He informed me.

He shot cell phone photos of the items that he liked the best. As I was rustling through my art bag for supplies, I came across a gold foil butterfly that a fashion designer had given me a while back. For the first time, I decided to leave something behind, and I let the butterfly flutter to the ground. I noticed a ten year old girl writing in a notebook and her dad watched what she was doing. It turns out she was sketching and her dad brought her out to the sketch event. She drew teddy bears, a heart and a church. Beautiful Latina women inspected the site. one wore a tiara. There must be millions of cell phone photos shot of items at the memorial. Two large cable spools formed a shrine in wh7ch wooden panels honored the 49 lives lost. Hours could be spent reading all the notes left behind, but soon it becomes emotionally overwhelming.

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