DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Local artist Frank Hoffmaster has painted a new mural of Breasia Terrell and Italia Kelly on Harrison Street in Davenport.
22-year-old Italia Kelly was shot and killed during a night of civil unrest in May 2020. 10-year-old Breasia Terrell was murdered in July 2020 and her remains were found after a several-month-long search.
The mural of Breasia and Italia now stands on the side of Hilltop Groceries & Spirits near the intersection of 13th and Harrison Streets. Frank Hoffmaster says he saw the blank wall, asked the owner for permission, and painted the mural of the girls in just six hours.
“I was just touched by the story,” said Hoffmaster, “Italia Kelly and Breasia Terrell, these are names that we need to remember.”
Frank described what he was feeling as he painted.
“It really puts you in their seat for a second. It’s just heartwrenching, it feels good and bad at the same time,” said Frank.
Hoffmaster doesn’t know the Terrell or Kelly family. Both families say they were shocked and elated when they found out.
“Joy, happiness. Especially for my niece because she can always come here and see her baby. It’s a wonderful feeling because people care and this is so beautiful that every time I come down this street, she’s here. In a sense, she’s right here,” said Charllie Johnson, Breasia’s aunt, “She will never be forgotten. She will always be remembered. Anybody that comes past here is going to know who Breasia Terrell is. Always. And I didn’t say was, I said is.”
Frank says murals are something he enjoys but more importantly, something that matters.
“I love doing portraits and thought it would be nice to do something that counts, to give back,” said Hoffmaster.
To both families, the surprise act of kindness is a sign of the community’s mourning and remembrance.
“When I first found out I started crying. Just for somebody to care enough and remember her and to do that not knowing who she was and never meeting her, it was just amazing,” said Sharon Kelly, Italia’s mother, “It was just amazing to us that she is still remembered. It’s been almost two years now. I can’t give that man enough credit for what he did.”
“It means the world. It means everything. When I’m dead and gone the ones who come behind me will know who she is. When the young ones get grown they will know who she is. She will always be remembered. Always. Never forgotten. That’s what it means to me. If you look at her eyes, her eyes tell a story – I’m Breasia Terrell, I had a purpose here. I still have a purpose here. Twenty years from now she’s still going to be here, with purpose and those same eyes. She’s never going anywhere. She’s right here. She’s always going to be home,” said Johnson.
Frank Hoffmaster says he has a few more finishing touches to put on the mural including a sunrise and clouds behind both girls. Italia’s mother says she has not seen the painting in person yet but plans to meet Frank and thank him for his work.
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