Artist creates portraits of teens killed in shooting

When a tragedy hits, the effects of it can be felt miles away. When something happened last week, a man felt a kinshi...

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 9:07 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 9:07 AM

When a tragedy hits, the effects of it can be felt miles away. When something happened last week, a man felt a kinship to people he'd never met. He says a calling led him to use his art to give them something special.

"Actually, I did portraits in high school," laughed Richie McKinney of Princeton, KY, talking between sketching on a canvas. "It was a dollar a pop which was a lot of money in 1962."

A portrait can capture a certain feeling, a part of a personality seen on a subject's face. That's according to McKinney, an artist.

"You cannot leave empathy out." he said, working on a portrait. "I try to feel like I'm that person as I'm drawing the person out. I'm not going to get that likeness near as well unless I include feeling."

McKinney was a pastor for 14 years.

"I was in an automobile accident, and I had to retire," he said.

Through his art, McKinney's found a way he can minister again.

After the shootings at Marshall County High last week, McKinney felt a calling.

"Honestly, it just broke my heart as it did everybody's," he said. "God has a way of talking. He just said to do it. I don't know these people, but they must be pretty special people in God's eyes."

McKinney created portraits of the two teens killed, Bailey Holt and Preston Cope.

"She had the look of kindness," he said about Holt's picture before turning his attention to Cope's. "I just know he could've done so much with his life if he had a chance. I guess it hit me harder because if it happened in Marshall County, it could've just as easily happened here. I felt a kinship with these two kinds in some sort of spiritual way. I can't explain that in any rational or logical terms."

McKinney encouraged people to share the pictures all over Facebook and asked Kentucky State Police to take the original portraits from his home and hand deliver them to the families.

Saturday, Holt's aunt, Tracy Tubbs, took the podium at a press conference.

"No one knows this person, but he did this artwork of Bailey, and this is something we'll treasure forever," she said, holding up McKinney's work.

"That they took time to show that meant more to me than they'll ever know," said McKinney.

As for what McKinney captured on the faces of two young people, for Holt he wrote 'kindness.' For Cope, 'dignity.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 156673

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31987550
Washington21345216
Marion18579287
Clackamas13449190
Lane10343129
Jackson8525116
Umatilla769682
Deschutes600163
Yamhill379669
Linn360957
Malheur335458
Polk307744
Klamath280555
Douglas255055
Josephine238755
Benton235617
Jefferson197630
Coos154521
Union130319
Columbia127721
Wasco122126
Lincoln113720
Hood River107029
Morrow105014
Crook78018
Clatsop7786
Baker6669
Curry4316
Tillamook4222
Lake3826
Harney2776
Grant2271
Wallowa1435
Gilliam541
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00
Eugene
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 38°
Corvallis
Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 36°
Roseburg
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
North Bend
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 37°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events