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'Bridge of Souls' art installation to honor COVID-19 victims

It's a series of decorated banners, each representing the people whose lives were cut short due to COVID-19 in McLennan County.

WACO, Texas — In October, 600 banners will be decorated to display a 'Bridge of Souls' in Waco.

It's a series of decorated banners, each representing the people whose lives were cut short due to COVID-19 in Mclennan County.

The project is an art installation to create a visual representation of the pandemic's impact on the community.

"I came up the word 'souls' because I felt that each of these souls had been a vibrant part of our community," Doreen Ravenscroft said, president of Cultural Arts Waco.

It's a collaboration including the City of Waco, Cooper Foundation, McLennan County, ARPA, Texas Commission on the Arts and Waco Cultural Arts. 

Ravenscroft said they ordered 600 banners thinking they wouldn't reach that number, but they've since surpassed it with 608 COVID-19 deaths in McLennan County as of Monday.

"I hope it says to them, to the families in particular that our community as a whole cares. It's really emotional," Ravenscroft said. 

Artists and families who've lost loved ones can decorate a banner in a way that celebrates life and what they loved about them.

"I love sunflowers and so it was easy for me to figure out what design I wanted to do," Christal Peterson said, a local artist. 

She added that she also chose sunflowers because to her they're symbolic of God's faithfulness and happiness.

She said seeing all the banners put into perspective how many lives have been lost in the past year and a half.

"This is a great way to put a face behind the numbers and let people know we are still deep in the pandemic and that there are people that are affected daily by this," Peterson said. 

Those involved in creating the project hope this powerful artwork will impact every one in the community when it's displayed in October.

"We're all in this together and we really need to come together as a community to take care of each other, to connect with each other, and to love each other," Ravenscroft said.

People who want to honor their loved ones are encouraged to decorate a banner that will be given to them if they sign up.

Artists can also help others decorate their banners.

Click here to sign up and find out more information.