Artist devotes talents to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19

Portraits help families remember loved ones taken by the pandemic


National News

May 5, 2021 - 10:28 AM

St. Petersburg artist Margaret Bayalis adds detail to the eyes of a portrait at her home studio. She paints the portraits of people who have died from COVID-19 and gives them to loved ones free of charge. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times/TNS)

Last October, St. Petersburg, Florida, artist Margaret Bayalis, feeling burned out by the pandemic, was grappling with how to respond to it visually.

She came up with the idea to offer free painted portraits of people who died from COVID-19 to their loved ones. She reached out on the social media app Next Door and immediately got a few requests.

Soon, word spread and she was getting queries from as far as Hawaii, Portugal and India.

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