The Best Thing This Week

Art From the Heart

Philly’s Laura Silverman offers up “Portraits of Parkland.”


One of Laura Silverman’s “Portraits of Parkland.”

While students across the country on Wednesday walked out of school to protest the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High a month ago, a local artist/activist had her own way of responding to the singularly American carnage of gun violence. Laura S. Silverman has created a website, “Portraits of Parkland,” that shows the sketches she’s drawn, on lined school-notebook paper, of the Parkland victims, along with a few facts about each one’s life: “Alaina Petty. 14 years old. JROTC named her ‘Best Cadet of the Quarter.’ Loved dogs.” “Alex Schachter. 14 years old. Trombonist. ‘Happy band kid.’ Dreamed of attending UConn.” They’re devastating in their brutality. Silverman suggests you download them as postcards and send them to legislators. (She’s even added some suggestions of what you might say to them in support of gun control.) “It helps me to do something with my outrage, grief, and sense of powerless against gun money,” Silverman says. “It’s also really important to me that the individual victims of this preventable crime are remembered as people, not just one of 17.”