the Art Institute of Portland Marcia Policar Gallery

1122 N.W. Davis Street, Portland

After the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead, Quin Sweetman, a full-time artist, felt helpless in the face of yet another national tragedy of senseless gun violence. But she wasn’t helpless. She had a brilliant idea to help us all grieve. Quin gathered 55 artists together via Facebook to make portraits of the 58 people murdered.  She called the project “Beautiful Lives Lost”.

“We really don’t like referring to the people who lost their lives that day as victims,” notes Quin.  “All of them were people, not statistics, living rich, rewarding and beautiful lives. They were invisible to the perpetrator, but all the artists who committed to this project clearly see their humanity. The artists recognize, remember and honor those lost lives with their artworks. They volunteered their time, materials, and talents as a loving gesture to  bring some comfort to the families, loved-ones and communities by showing that people care about their loss”.
All 58 artworks will be at The Art Institute of Portland during July. Following the exhibition the portraits will be gifted to the families.


The visual impact created by showing all of these people together is powerful. By volunteering our time and talents to honor their memories, we show that people care. Even people who don’t know them. It is a loving gesture to bring comfort to the families and their communities.

July 5th to 27

You’ll have an opportunity to see my painting of Calla Marie Medig, along with other portraits of victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

Reception: Thursday July 5th, 5-8pm

Just One Small Thing

So often when terrible things happen we are filled with sadness or anger. It’s easy to feel helpless. But feeling bad does nothing to improve things. Painting this portrait was one small thing I could do to help in our collective healing. I did not know Calla Marie Medig and still know little about her. I chose her because she reminded me of a friend’s daughter. I like that her name is a flower that I grow. She was beautiful. In pictures, her face is often tilted upwards and smiling so I imagine she had a zest for life and was optimistic in nature. I do know that Calla Marie was loved and will be missed.