By Peter McLaren-Kennedy •
Updated: 02 Jun 2022 • 10:52
Artist donates hand painted personalised caskets for all 18 Texas children murdered
Trey Ganem, who refused to be paid for his work, met with the families of all 18 children and one of the two teachers killed in the massacre at Robb Elementary School to learn more about the deceased.
Driving nearly four hours from his home town of Edna, he put together a series of unique designs that pays homage to each victim. Each one is tailored to reflect the life and interests of each child, with some bearing sports, others superheroes and others animals.
Ganen was contacted by the ‘Texas Funeral Directors’ association who offered him a contract to paint the caskets, but he refused instead taking it upon himself to buy and paint the units free of charge. Each casket costs up to $3,800 (€3,600) to make.
The artist and his 25-year-old son worked for 20 hours without break to have the hand-painted caskets ready and delivered on Friday, just days after the massacre.
Ganen, who owns Soulshine Industries, told Buzzfeed News: “I take away something from every experience with a family because when they’re explaining stuff about their child, they light up.”
Speaking to CNN News, he added: ‘We don’t just put a vinyl wrap on top. We actually custom paint every single one.
‘We take the casket completely apart, and we paint the hardware, we paint the bars. The class and the passion that we put into these is bar none.’
‘I didn’t even think twice when I was asked to do it, and God always takes care of us.’
This is not the first time that Ganen has produced caskets for victims of mass murders, having previously produced hand-painted units for the victims of the Sutherland Springs and Las Vegas mass shootings, which respectively claimed the lives of 26 and 61 people.
The caskets were ready in good time allowing the first of the burials to go ahead yesterday, Tuesday, May 31.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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