In remembrance of the 32 victims lost on April 16, 2007, the VTV Family Outreach Foundation will host an art exhibit on April 15 at 7 p.m. in the Hahn Horticulture Garden.
The art exhibit, which marks the fifth anniversary of the April 16 tragedy, serves to remember those who were lost and honor those who survived.
Event Committee Co-Chair Lolly Miller, the mother of survivor Heidi Miller, described the event as a chance to celebrate the connection between the families.
“We wanted to let people know who (the VTV Family Outreach Foundation) is, now that we are a cohesive group of families at the five year anniversary,” Miller said.
The art show will feature the original artwork of local artist June Mullins, in addition to collections from around the world.
According to Marjorie Castro, VTV Family Outreach Foundation director of development, the event is open to the public. Castro said they will be expecting between 75 and 150 guests, depending on how many families of victims and survivors are present that weekend.
Castro’s idea for the event was inspired by Mullins’ artwork, which was made in remembrance of the 32 victims.
“The art captures the beauty of healing and shows what the community has done to help the families,” Castro said.
In the wake of the tragedy, Mullins sought to use her artistic talents to cope with the trauma and unite the Tech community. Mullins created a painting called “Thirty-Two Butterflies,” which took her about one year to complete. The painting utilizes watercolor, acrylic dyes and gouache.
“I believe butterflies are a gift of nature in their extraordinary beauty as well as their symbolism for transformation,” Mullins said.
Mullins distinctly chose 32 different species of butterflies to show “diversity and unique beauty.”
Mullins has agreed to sell prints of her butterfly paintings to benefit the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, an organization supported by the VTV Family Outreach Foundation.
The funds will help support the Norris garden, located outside of Norris Hall, which is the next proposed garden on the Hokie Spirit Garden Trail.
In addition to Mullins’ reflective artwork, the exhibit will display unique collections from around the world. After the tragedy, various artists sent original artwork to Tech to express their condolences for the families and the community.
The artwork sent to campus, totaling 89,000 pieces, has been catalogued and archived at Newman Library. A smaller collection from the library has been chosen for the exhibit.
“We were able to select items we think are representative of all mediums of art. It will be an interesting collection for people to observe,” Miller said.