LaGrange Art Museum honors lives lost to coronavirus

LaGrange Bureau

LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – The board members of the LaGrange Art Museum painted hearts on May 20, 2021 for every person who lost their battle to COVID-19 in Troup County over the past year. There were 227 hearts painted on the exterior wall of the museum.

“Gosh, we’ve recognized all the COVID heroes but I don’t know that we’ve really given enough attention to the fact that we lost so many of our community members,” said Executive Director of the LaGrange Art Museum, Laura Jennings.

Jennings got the idea for the project after reading an article about a similar project in London. She decided to bring it to LaGrange where the community could paint a heart for every life lost to the coronavirus in the last year.

She hopes the project encourages locals to remember those who lost their battles to COVID-19, helps those who have lost loved ones to heal, and inspires people to get their vaccines.

Past president of the museum board and participant of the project, Ethyl L. Ault, was delighted to have an opportunity to honor the families of those who passed. She emphasized that the museum board is thinking of the entire community with this project.

“To their families that they can look at the hearts and say ‘people cared enough to send love to us since we’ve lost someone in our family good friend or even just an acquaintance’,” said Ault.  

Ault lost eight loved ones to the coronavirus and painted hearts for them on the wall.

Courtney Winston, a LaGrange resident, lost her mother to COVID-19 in August 2020 and got the opportunity to honor her by painting a heart for her.

“It just means a lot, a heart on the wall is just a great way to honor so many people. It was my mom but there were so many parents, siblings, grandparents and I know I feel a hole. So that heart helped brighten the day, it was perfect timing,” said Winston.

Winston had her daughter, S’even, and her husband, Michael, by her side for the special moment.

Jennings hopes to make this a collaborative project for the entire town to join. She is eager to watch it grow as people add hearts and names to honor their loved ones.

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