Apex artist paints portraits for families affected by opioid epidemic

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ByAna Rivera via WTVD logo
Monday, September 3, 2018

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- An artist in Apex is doing her part to give back to families affected by the opioid epidemic.

Cathy Martin owns the Red Canvas in Apex where the walls are covered in portraits.

"They look so alive. It's just in their eyes. I get so used to having them around," Cathy said.

But the portraits never stay in Cathy's studio. She paints them for just a fraction of families across the country who have lost a child to an opioid addiction.

"One lady wrote and said, 'I got to hold - with this portrait - I got to hold my child one more time,'" Cathy remembered.

It's a feeling of loss Cathy said she knows all too well. Her son, who battled a drug addiction, died in a car wreck 14 years ago.

"For all of these years, I've thought how can I give back in his name? So this is what I've chosen to do," she said.

Cathy said she gets about 20 painting requests a week. In two years, she's painted about 100 portraits. Her goal is to paint a clearer picture of this epidemic and get families talking about it talking about it with one brush stroke at a time.

Cathy will have her work on display in Washington D.C. at the Fed Up rally in October.