10-year-old Alithia Ramirez lost her life May 24 in the shooting at Robb Elementary School. A new group is helping young aspiring artists keep their dream alive.
SAN ANTONIO — 10-year-old Alithia Haven Ramirez dreamed of studying art in Paris.
She hoped to one day see her work online, maybe sold on Etsy.
That dream was cut short May 24 inside Robb Elementary School.
Now, her family, with the help of a stranger, is helping other aspiring artists keep their dreams alive.
“I heard Alithia’s dad describe her as an artist and how she was always surrounded by crayons. That just got me,” said artist, Violet Lemay. “That was me growing up, that was my son growing up, that was my husband. We are just a family of artists.”
Lemay shares a similar passion with Alithia Ramirez. Both grew up surrounded by color and art supplies.
“I am a children’s book author and illustrator,” Lemay explained. “I draw kids for a living, so I thought I will draw these kids and their teachers.”
Lemay has never been to Uvalde, but she felt compelled to do something from 9,700 miles away in Malaysia.
“I couldn’t figure a way to take inspiration from every single victim, but I could channel all of my energy into this one that really resonated with me,” said Lemay.
Alithia Ramirez was one of the first children she drew.
“I read this sad, sad story that her 10-year-old birthday balloons were still hanging up in the house when she was shot,” said Lemay. “So I drew her with the balloons behind her.”
The drawings captured the attention of Alithia’s father. Soon, Lemay had an idea of how the world could honor the young artist.
“We can start a website that would be a virtual gallery for children’s art,” she explained.
With help from the Ramirez Family, Lemay co-created the group Alithia’s Art Angels. Shortly after the launch of the group’s website, children started submitting their art.
“It just shows me how many children’s lives have been affected by this tragedy,” said Lemay. “It’s not just the families who lost children. It’s all the kids who knew those children.”
Lemay works closely with the Ramirez family to run Alithia’s Art Angels. Through this website, they’re keeping young artists’ dreams alive.
“I feel very protective of America and America’s children and I would do anything I could to help these families,” said Lemay.
Taking the initiative a step further, young artists who submit their work to Alithia’s Art Angels could earn free art supplies.
The group is raising $500 on a GoFundMe page to fund their giveaway.
From now through August 31, any child 18 and under can submit their artwork on Alithia’s Art Angels website. It will enter them in a contest. Alithia’s parents will select the winners who will receive a $100 gift certificate to the art supply store of their choice.
Families can also submit entries by e-mailing [email protected].