Artist uses his brush to turn Surfside’s pain into hope


This photo shows a mural that Roberto Marquez painted Friday, July 9, 2021 in Surfside, Fla. Roberto Marquez flew from Dallas to Miami nearly two weeks ago, hoping to add his hands to those digging through the rubble of a fallen South Florida condo building. But once there, the muralist was disappointed to hear that his help was appreciated but not needed. Still, the Dallas artist felt compelled to contribute to the cause, something that might uplift the Surfside community amid so much anguish. That’s when he decided he would use his art to help translate pain into hope and resilience. (AP Photo/ Stacey Plaisance)

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — A Dallas artist was turned away last month when he offered to help dig for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed condo tower near Miami.

But Roberto Marquez is still in South Florida and is helping the city of Surfside in another way by painting two giant canvasses depicting the community’s pain and hope.

The artwork hangs on a fence near the collapsed building that has become an impromptu memorial.

When he’s done painting, he hopes to sell the artwork and donate proceeds to a fund for victims. He says it’s his gift to the city.

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