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California Artist Creates Murals From Ash To Encourage Victims Of Paradise Wildfires


An artist in California is determined to spread love and beauty in the midst of unimaginable tragedy. After the Paradise wildfires, he has created stunning murals to bring inspiration and hope to victims in the area.

Devastating Damage

The Paradise wildfire ravaged the community in November 2018, causing irreparable damage and taking 50 lives. Artist Shane Grammer had many childhood friends that lost their homes. Some had insurance to cover the damages, but others, unfortunately, did not.

Terence Duffy

One of Shane’s friends came back to his home after the fire. The only thing left standing was a burnt fireplace. As a creative person, Shane found inspiration in the “blank canvas,” and decided to make something with it.

Creating A Masterpiece

Shane asked his friend if he could paint something on the hearth and chimney. The artist’s goal was to encourage those struggling and to get them to see that Paradise would rise again. His friend agreed.

Terence Duffy/CNN

Over the course of three hours, Shane created a beautiful black-and-white mural of a woman. “It was emotional to paint the mural, knowing that so many friends had lost their homes,” he admitted in an interview. The artist added a Scripture reference from the Bible at the bottom. The reference was Isaiah 61:3-4: “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes.”

Beauty In The Ashes

Shane posted pictures of his work of art on New Year’s Day, and his friend shared them on a community Facebook page. Before long, the photos spread to those throughout Paradise and all over the country. The beautiful mural, as Shane had hoped, brought hope and encouragement to those who needed it most.

YouTube / Inside Edition

Several people in the area even asked the artist to paint their burnt homes and cars, which Shane happily agreed to. “From reading a lot of the comments and how it’s encouraged people, I think they needed encouragement and I think this is one way out of all the stories, almost like a slap in the face, that there is hope,” he said.  “There will be hope. There is beauty in the ashes.”

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