ROCHESTER, Minn. – Charlotte Wiskow is a painter.
“It's just what I'm born to do I guess,” Wiskow said. “I love to paint.”
She also loves who she paints. Wiskow paints portraits of people who died serving the country, a project she started 7 years ago.
“Because I was feeling such empathy when I'd hear about a fallen hero. I especially empathize with them because my husband and I lost a daughter,” she said.
Wiskow’s daughter passed away 20 years ago from an illness. Now, she helps other parents going through similar experiences by painting the portraits of the fallen heroes.
56 paintings and seven years later, Wiskow’s portraits are being paired with bios of the fallen heroes and featured as part of Rochester’s Community Reflections on Living and Dying event.
The posters are being displayed throughout the month of November in the skyway above the library downtown. Bu the portraits on the posters are just photographs of Wiskow’s paintings. The originals are with the families.
“It’s just a great reminder of him,” Dave Swenson said.
Swenson lost his 20 -year-old son, Curtis Swenson, in April of 2010. Curtis was in the U.S. Marine Corps and was the first painting of a fallen hero Wiskow did.
The painting is a fixture in Swenson’s home.
There's no new memories or anything like that to come along anymore, so it's pretty special,” he said.
It's something special that’s being shared with the Rochester community.
“This is real,” Swenson said. “You know these are friends of yours. These could be your friends, your brother, your sister.”
The Fallen Heroes display is in the skyway above the library. It will be up until November 30th.
To learn more about Wiskow’s work click here.
To learn more about Rochester’s Community Reflections on Living and Dying month-long event, click here.
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