Painting to inspire, encourage Newtown survivors

Apr. 03, 2014 @ 12:22 PM

Talking about her painting “The Flight,” local artist Rose Wenkel said, “I didn’t do it for me. I did it because it belongs there.”

The painting will be going to Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., where on Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman entered the school, killing 26 children and teachers before turning the gun on himself.
Wenkel didn’t go to her canvas to create something for the people of the school. It just sort of happened, with no inspiration per se but lots of feeling she said.
“I did the painting and I stood back and just loved it,” she said. “It felt like a struggle against nature. It has an impression of rising and getting out of a bad situation.”
The school was demolished in October 2013 and a new school is being built on that site.
“I saw something on TV about them building a new school in Newtown,” Wenkel said. “And I thought perhaps it would encourage and enlighten the people that went through this horrible thing and maybe it can inspire a child someday to take up a brush and be a painter.”
A few weeks after emailing the Newtown Board of Education she received a response saying they would hang the painting in the school when it’s completed at the end of 2016.
United Parcel Service, Carolina Wrestling Federation and Ausley’s Chevelle Parts in Graham, N.C., are donating money, freight and crating to get “The Flight” to Newton Elementary.
The painting is of a multi-colored bird flying upward. Wenkel said that she used oil paints because of the vibrancy and richness of the colors. She added that an additional coat of varnish is needed before the painting can make its journey north.
“Color is everything,” she said. “If you don’t have color, you don’t have happiness.”