Over 20 Fort Worth artists came together Sunday to paint a mural of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, hoping to draw attention to her story and those of victims of sexual violence.
“I just thought to myself, 'What can I do you know,'” artist Juan Velasquez said. “As an artist, I can paint, I can do a mural and I started to think of a project.”
Velasquez led the project and by Sunday afternoon it was nearly complete. A crowd of dozens gathered in the parking lot next to the South Fort Worth tattoo shop that donated its wall for the mural.
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Earlier Sunday, a lawyer for Guillen's family told The Associated Press that Army investigators identified Guillen's body -- two months after she vanished from Fort Hood.
“It’s a sister of mine at the end of the day, just showing my respects for her and her family,” resident Gabriela Mora said.
The atmosphere was festive and celebratory, paying tribute to Guillen’s life and family. But below the surface many hoped her life and death would spark a quest for change that will ensure no one else goes through what she did.
“I want people to drive by here and say, 'I was a part of it, I helped make this happen,'” Velasquez said.