|Kelly Thomas and his Mother by John Sollom.|
The Magoksi Arts Colony in Fullerton, California is quiet when local painter Valerie Lewis arrives late Tuesday night with portraits in hand. A painting of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed Ferguson, Missouri man killed by police officer Darren Wilson is surrounded by flowers and a quote that reads “love is a song that never ends.” Next to that portrait is another piece by Lewis showing John Crawford, a 22-year-old African-American gunned down last month by police in Beavercreek, Ohio, holding a newborn child in his arms. Paintings from the Kelly Thomas memorial art show are laid out, waiting to be stationed.
The human faces of those killed by police in OC and beyond frame the Our Lives Matter: Portraits of the Unprotected exhibit slated to open Friday night during Fullerton’s art walk. The OC Weekly has more on this powerful project.