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Kansas City artist grieves loss of woman killed in rally shooting through art

 Anthony Oropeza
Posted at 7:47 PM, Feb 20, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — To Anthony Oropeza, a Kansas City-based artist, the late Lisa Lopez-Galvan was like a little sister to him for more than 30 years.

"If I was having a bad day, I knew once I saw her, gave her a hug — we were going to laugh and my day would change," Oropeza said while reminiscing on his time with Lopez-Galvan.

Oropeza is one of the many people now left grieving her death after she was killed in the mass shooting as the Chiefs rally was ending last week.

"Then you get the bad news that she's passed, and you just drop," he said. "Your heart drops; the earth stops."

Oropeza said he's now channeling his grief not only as a friend, but the best way he knows how — through a paint brush.

"It's tough to separate the work to the emotion," he said, "Especially with what I'm doing now — working on the eyes and looking into her eyes — it makes it really difficult, but on the flip side, it becomes a project and I have to complete it not only for myself, but for the family."

As he creates a portrait in her honor, he says he'll always cherish the last time he saw her, just a few days before the parade.

"It's a bittersweet of course," he said. "The bitterness is that she is gone and I will no longer be able to hug her or give her a kiss, but the sweetness is that I got to give her a hug and see her that day."