HOUSTON – Tragedies have a way of uniting a community. Through grief, as precedence has shown us, humanity often shines: people, helping others as they heal.
Southeast Texas was unfortunately recently hit with two tragedies just months apart. One, a gunman who brought terror to a high school claiming ten innocent lives. The other, a hurricane that brought relentless rain for days.
It was both a tough and simple decision to begin this new podcast series with such heartache. While our community will never fully recover, in both tragedies just months apart, we again witnessed unity amid the darkness. The events were significant to our state; so were the acts of kindness big and small that arose in the aftermath.
That's where we begin -- with two examples of people who stepped up to help in the best way they knew how.
Down the road from Santa Fe High School, an artist and high school senior herself, Daniela Betancourt and her art teacher decided to organize an art show and silent auction. They reached out to students nationwide, asking them to create #ArtForSantaFe. Not only did they receive over 200 submissions, some contributions came from students as far as Japan.
As for the inspiration behind why she decided on an art show, Daniela put it simply: art heals.
A man on the other end of emergency calls during Hurricane Harvey agrees. His passion for painting began years ago when faced with a more personal tragedy and continues today as he looks to rebuild his own life and home after the storm.
Art as a healer begins this season of "The Eyes of Texas."
More about Episode 1 of Season 1:
Art for Santa Fe:
Harvey Arts Recovery focuses on helping individual artists rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. This includes replacing materials lost during the storm, as well as spreading information about funding for the arts community affected by the storm. Click here to learn more.
Hurricane Harvey Art:
Louis Gonzales hails from Houston’s northside. He says his artwork embodies his Mexican-American culture, punctuated by an added emphasis on Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Most of his imagery features skulls and skeletons, a hallmark of the holiday. The bright colors often used are also a trademark of his work, giving appreciation to his family and a culture he hopes to preserve. Click here to see a slideshow of the artwork of Louis Gonzales.