Virginia Beach artist creates mural of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville

Posted at 4:37 PM, Aug 18, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A Virginia Beach artist, Sam Welty, who is known for painting murals traveled to Charlottesville and created a mural in Heather Heyer's honor.

In a time-lapse video captured by Joe Rice from the City of Charlottesville, Welty can be seen shading in cheekbones, adding depth in hair and a glowing kindness in the eyes.

"It always felt right. It always and that's what I called it. Doing what was right," said Welty.

Heyer, was a 32-year-old paralegal who was killed when police say James Alex Fields drove a car into the crowd protesting the 'Unite the Right' rally.

"Doing a piece of artwork like that really is the only thing I can do. I didn't know Heather. When you're given that opportunity you have to jump on it," said Welty.

The communications coordinator with the City of Charlottesville called Welty about creating a chalk mural for Heyer on the Freedom of Speech Monument. Welty started around 5:30 in the morning Wednesday and finished after about five hours, just in time for the vigil that night.

"The art was able to bring so many people together. And for a couple hours after I finished, so many people stopping by, taking pictures of it, sharing it on social media. That was the really special part," said Welty.

He added Heyer's parents were able to pass a message to him, thanking him for creating the mural.

"The portrait has to say what she was about what she believed in what she died for and I hope that's what I accomplished," said Welty.

As of Friday evening, the chalk mural was still going strong and undamaged.

Welty previously painted a mural honoring all branches of the military at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront earlier this year.