Uvalde community paints memorial tiles for Robb Elementary shooting victims

The Love for Uvalde Tile Painting is lasting all weekend.

UVALDE – Uvalde is receiving love and support from Las Vegas. The community is coming out and creating its own hand-painted memorial.

“These tiles I have here were painted by one of the survivors from the Robb elementary school and this is kind of my proof of the day that art heals,” artist and organizer Jackie Burrow said.

Holding a child’s artwork, Burrow shares how he opened up and began to smile in front of her eyes.

“It’s just the difference between this and this. It’s just... I still talk about it, I still get cold chills,” Burrow said.

At three locations Saturday, the El Progreso Memorial Library, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the community came out to paint their own tiles in tribute to the Robb Elementary shooting victims.

Gail Schomisch, artist and organizer, said they did this same project in her home city of Las Vegas following the 2017 Route 91 music festival where 60 people died as a result of that tragedy.

“So when they come back and they look for that tile and see it, it brings tears to my eyes cause it means so much to those families,” Schomisch said.

Families like Monica Gallegos and her daughter Angeli, who lost her twin sister Annabell on May 24th.

“It’s hard, like today is my birthday and usually I was used to her like waking up, bringing me breakfast you know. This kind of just, you know, brings me happiness because I can do something in honor of her,” Gallegos said.

Over the next few months, these tiles will be fired up, given to the city and then made into a permanent memorial for the 21.

“Happy just knowing that we’re able to like that everybody’s like letting us still remember our kids,” Gallegos said.

If you missed Saturday’s painting, it’s happening again Sunday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the library from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The St. Philip’s Episcopal Church location is open from 1:30 p.m. until 5 p.m.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.