Kansas artist paints George Floyd, wants people to remember his face

Positive Connections

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – A Hutchinson man is shedding light on inequality through art.

“When this happened, it just hit me like a brick. It made me very emotional,” said Tom Belcher.

Belcher, 57, picked up painting about two years ago.

“The reason I do it is because it really takes me out of a dark place and into a really good place,” Belcher explained. “I have, my 4-foot-by-4-foot studio. It’s my happy place and when I am there I am OK.”

Belcher’s walls are covered in portraits he’s painted. Many of them were inspired by his family and current events.

His most recent piece of work is an image of George Floyd.

“I knew that there’s not really much I can do but listen to the black people of America and listen to what they have to say and what I am hearing is don’t forget George Floyd’s face and so I painted a picture of him so maybe we won’t forget,” Belcher said.

Belcher made it a point to show Floyd’s pain in his painting.

“He’s got wrinkles in his forehead. He has got big frown marks on his face. He is just sad looking,” he explained. “He very well could have been thinking that in that picture I’m a middle-aged black man and I might die today.”

Belcher told KSN he does not expect his art to change the world, but he hopes it will start a conversation.

“There are 7 billion people on our planet. If every single one of us did one little thing to help this problem, boy would that ever push it along,” he said.

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