MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — True talent can bring art to life with a brushstroke but a local mural at a Marshalltown skate park is lifting up four teenage lives lost in a deadly car crash on November 4th.

“One thing Marshalltown does really well is come together in times of tragedy,” said Amber Danielson, executive director of Marshall County Arts & Cultural Alliance. The project is located at the Marshalltown Skate Park along South 6th Street. “The artist really took our high-level idea and made it his own. We had a really simple idea that he took and expanded on,” said Danielson.

Marshalltown artist Benny Fernandez was commissioned by Marshall County Arts & Cultural Alliance to create the tribute that depicts 17-year-old Yanitza Lopez, her 15-year-old sister Linette, 16-year-old Isacc Lara, and his brother 13-year-old Adrian. All four were killed on November 4th in a car crash in the 1800 block of South 6th Street after crashing into a pole.

Danielson said, “We hope this can be a space for continued grieving and be a support for the families and all the community greatly impacted by this.”

The candles on the mural shine light in the darkness felt by the community after the tragedy. “He added flowers here on the bottom and upper corner,” said Danielson.

White space surrounds the piece allowing room for heartfelt messages from loved ones. “There’s markers at the wall and even a blank space on the back so we really hope this continues to be a community piece for us to unite,” Danielson said. These messages have spread from well outside of Marshalltown. Danielson said, “We’ve already seen some support from community members outside of Iowa even. We see some from Las Vegas. We even have some from Texas.”

It’s beautiful art to honor four beautiful lives. Danielson said, “Marshalltown has been through a lot the past few years and I think through tragic experiences it has come to bring us together.”

Fernandez used paint that should last through the rough Iowa elements and last into the summer so more people can continue to leave their mark on the mural.