'One City — One PULSE' exhibit opens at CityArts Factory

By John W. Davis, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, June 16, 2017, 4:33 PM EDT

Charlie Kenji Schaeffer created the One City - One PULSE exhibit to express what he has been feeling in his heart for the past year.

  • 'One City - One PULSE' an artistic tribute
  • Exhibit now open at CityArts Factory in downtown Orlando
  • Proceeds to go to OnePULSE, QLatinx

Hundreds attended the opening at the CityArts Factory on South Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando on Thursday night.

"That's what I truly wanted is hope and healing and love," Schaeffer said.

The show is an artistic tribute to the Orlando community's year-long journey of perseverance in the face of the Pulse tragedy.

People from all walks of life, including LGBT and Latinx artists contributed pieces to honor the victims and survivors of the nightclub shooting.

"I've been spending months and months and months trying to think of a good enough idea that kind of represented everything I felt," said Katrina Constantine, who has one of the most popular pieces of art in the show.

The show in Gallery 29 is themed experience and a reflection of the Five Passions in World Art: Awe, Anguish, Love, Triumph and Joy.

"The message was that Pulse basically is powering our city to this day," Constantine said while describing her panoramic work of art.

"I wanted to show Pulse the actual place because, as a person who went there, it was a huge part of my coming-out experience," Constantine said.

"Every part of the piece is expressing a short of feeling, that's constant," she said.

Believe it or not, though he's the show's curator, Schaeffer is not a trained artist. However, through the therapeutic and inspirational process of making a 15,000 rainbow-colored origami cranes over six months, Schaeffer found peace and healing.

"When people walk through this space, that it's an honest reflection after a year and hopefully it moves them to acquire healing and inspire hope in our community and throughout our city," Schaeffer said.

According to Barbara Hartley, the executive director of the Downtown Arts District of Orlando, the show has the potential to raise more than $9,000.

Proceeds will go to the OnePULSE Foundation and QLatinx.

The show is open to the public until July 14.