Artist highlights Waukesha parade victims: 'Remember their name'

Paintings of each of the six Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy victims are now hanging inside city hall.

FOX6 News spoke with the artist behind the colorful paintings about the work to honor the victims' legacies.

"They’re like neighbors to me. I’ve become so familiar with them looking so closely at them," said artist Joanne Bowring.

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They are the six victims of the Waukesha Christmas Parade Tragedy. Their faces, vibrant smiles and memorable clothing are delicately detailed by Bowring.

"This is all colored pencil in here," she said.


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With watercolors, she painted with a purpose – for a community, for families.

"I’m compelled. There’s a push that says, 'Do these, don’t stop,’" Bowring said.

Bowring started the pieces shortly after the November 2021 tragedy. Her first painting was of 8-year-old Jackson Sparks.

Joanne Bowring's portraits of Waukesha parade attack victims

"I have grandchildren that are his age," said Bowring. "I just know he’s in that place, wherever it is, if you want to call it heaven."

Bowring took detailed notes about each person killed. Under the paintings is poetry.

"That makes me say a little bit more than just drawing it. I’ve always done that," Bowring said.

Joanne Bowring

The Wauwatosa artist created paintings for the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando and Sandy Hook School shooting, too.

"I hope I don’t ever have to do any more of these," Bowring said.

A hope as so many heal.

Joanne Bowring's portraits of Waukesha parade attack victims

"These are not going to be people who are forgotten. You will remember their name," said Bowring.

The paintings are on the first level of city hall. 

A parade memorial commission will next meet at city hall on March 31 at 6 p.m. to discuss location options for the memorial.

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