South Florida

Artist Brings Healing to Families of Gun Violence Victims

Gun violence has affected countless people in the South Florida community.

A local woman is using art to raise awareness which is providing healing to families of gun violence victims.

"I think about all the people that loved them," said artist Chire Regans.

From a blank canvass, the outline of a face takes shape with every stroke.

"I felt like all of these stories are important because a lot of people in the community don't really know what's going on in the community."

Chire Regans is an artist. Her work includes the portraits of men, women and children who have died by guns in South Florida.

"A lot of people are forgotten in a sense."

It began nearly year ago.

"It was right after King Carter was killed," said Regans.

When the 6-year-old was shot to death.

"I just picked up some paper and started to draw."

Since then -- Chire, known professionally as Vanta Black, has drawn more than 100 portraits -- some of them featured in local art shows.

"As an artist I have a responsibility to address issues that aren't necessarily highlighted as much as they need to be."

But her work has also helped families heal and cope with the grief of losing a loved one.

Serena Harrell's 15-year-old son, James Solomon, was shot to death while attending a wake last year.

His killer was never found.

"Not only is she acknowledging victims of gun violence but she's touching mothers. What she's doing is so important because people can place a face to this," said Harrell.

Chire says she's found her purpose and hopes her work will help open up a dialogue on gun violence to inspire positive change.

“If I have talent, I have to use it for good, raising awareness, getting people to come and want to, want to say ok, how do we address this?" said Chire.

The artist will be showing her portraits at the Jazz in the Gardens Festival in March.

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