PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At least 245 people have died so far this year from gun violence in Philadelphia. That includes seven just this past weekend.
Art is being used as activism for some of the children impacted.READ MORE: Realmuto, Segura Help Phillies Rally To 7-5 Win Vs. Nats
Talk to anyone fighting gun violence on the frontlines and they will likely tell you there is not one answer to solve this very complicated crisis.
But a local artist is hoping painting will give some perspective to those children suffering from the consequences of gun violence.
“I work with children every day — some of them as young as 8 — and they are losing parents, they’re losing friends, cousins,” Vanessa Young said.
Every summer, Power of Paint Academy co-founder and local artist Vanessa Young welcomes children, online and in-person, to paint a world without the pain of gun violence.
“We gave them scholarships to come to camp just so they could kind of heal up but there’s not a summer camp that we can give them that will could the loss of a parent,” Young said.
It’s why she jumped at the chance to create an interactive piece commissioned by CeaseFirePA.
The 40×60-foot canvas is being unveiled Tuesday outside the Municipal Services Building. It’s designed for the city to finish together.READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Casey Johnston's Parents Speaks Out After Missing Daughter's Body Found
“I made these figures and they don’t have gender or color or anything. And they are marching toward downtown in solidarity,” Young said.
“You’re invited to come down and paint as well,” Young said.
Co-founder Teisha Brown says art gives children most at risk a chance to express their grief.
“What we try to do is get in there and introduce so many other options that give you expression, give you safe space,” Brown said.
“When I paint, it makes me feel relaxed,” student Emma said.
“You can do painting classes or you can doany type of art with your friends,” student Micah said.
That canvas will be on display at 1401 JFK Boulevard from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome.
Organizers are also calling on City Council to invest $100 million for violence prevention for the next fiscal year.MORE NEWS: New Jersey Requiring All Employees In 'Certain' Healthcare Facilities Get COVID-19 Vaccine Or Regular Testing By Early September
CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.