February 21, 2013
Shelton Art Studio Organizing Sandy Hook Tribute (Valley Independent Sentinel)
By Ethan Fry

Artists gathered at a Shelton art studio last month as part of a project to honor the victims of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"Love Hearts For Newtown," the brainchild of Hannah Perry, owner of the Giggling Pig art studio on River Road, aims to honor each victim who died in the shooting with a painted wooden heart.

Artists taking part in the project met at the studio to collect their hearts and discuss the project.

"These hearts are made to look a little different," Perry said. "They all kind of look like balloons. When they're hanging together at different depths along the wall, they'll look like a big bunch of balloons floating away."

Perry said she plans on having the hearts displayed at the Sandy Hook Run For the Families, a March 23 race being run by the Hartford Marathon Foundation.

Perry hopes to eventually have the hearts installed in a Newtown school, but hasn't made a formal proposal yet because Newtown officials have been overwhelmed with donation requests, and it would be better to have a finished product to present instead of a work in progress.

If not a school, Perry said the project will be put on display at S.H.A.C.K., the Sandy Hook Art Center For Kids.

She said it's been touching to see so many artists want to participate in the project.

"The fact that all these strangers have come together to take part is really fantastic," Perry said.

One of the artists, Shelton resident Lisa Dickal, a graphic designer who works at the Connecticut headquarters of William Raveis Real Estate in Shelton, said she heard about the project on the Internet was was drawn to participate because one of the company's agents lost a daughter, Caroline Previdi, in the shooting.

Dickal will be decorating a heart in honor of another child who died in the shooting, Catherine Violet Hubbard. She said Wednesday she plans on having a theme related to Hubbard's love of animals, something she discovered while reading about the child.

"Although I did not know her or her family, her love for animals is a connection that I have, as I've rescued animals for many years now," Dickal said.

While Dickal, 27, said it's still "overwhelming" to talk about the tragedy, it's good to be taking part in something positive related to it.

"I am very happy to be a part of this project," she said.

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