Local artists paint Vanessa Guillén mural to bring attention to her death

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Two local artists came together in Amarillo on Saturday to paint a mural of Vanessa Guillén, a 20-year-old U.S. Army Fort Hood soldier who went missing and is believed to have been killed by another soldier.

The two local artists, Victor Ruiz and Jose Olague, who are childhood friends put their talents to good use today when they painted a mural of Vanessa Guillen at 153 southwest 10th ave. in Amarillo.

The artists said it was important for them to paint the mural because they had seen other murals of Guillén in major cities and wanted to show that Amarillo was thinking of her too and that they supported her family.

For the artists, the mural also struck close to home, Ruiz explained why, “It also hits close to home, because we have a friend of ours who paints with us, and he’s actually stationed at Fort Hood…or was at the time.”

Olague said that while the story has been all over the news, he and his friend Ruiz really wanted to bring attention to Guillén’s death in a way that went beyond social media.

“Obviously it’s all over the news, everybody knows about it. We just wanted…we saw it as kinda putting our money where our mouth is, not just posting on social media, but actually doing something to bring attention to it, ” said Olague.

The artists said they also had people and several businesses that helped them with supplies and the paint needed so that attention could be brought to Guillén’s death.

The artists also decided to go a different route in terms of the picture used to paint the mural. The two friends said they had seen a lot of murals with Guillén in her uniform, but they wanted to do a different picture that would highlight a different side of her. Olague said, “We wanted to do something casual, where she’s happy.”

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