BROOKLYN (PIX11) — A Brooklyn mother has turned the pain of losing her son to gun violence into a force of good to uplift other families, curating a special art show at the Brooklyn Public Library.

Michelle Barnes Anderson has lived a mother’s worst nightmare; her only child was murdered in Brooklyn nearly five years ago. She’s on a mission to heal not only herself but also her community through art. 

Barnes-Anderson says every work of art reminds her of her son. It helps her keep his memory alive. She is the curator of a special art show, designed to uplift local artists and help families of gun violence express themselves and heal. 

It was October 2017 when Barnes-Anderson’s son was murdered at a bus stop at the Farragut Houses in Brooklyn.  She lost her only child, 27-year-old Melquain Jatelle Anderson.  To cope with the loss, she  launched into action.  She wrote a book, created a foundation and now she’s this special art exhibit. Every work of art is inspired by a painful story, but also a purpose, the mom said. Thirty three pieces are on display until Oct. 25.

Barnes-Anderson said every work of art comes from the artists’ own painful experiences. She says is soothing to those who make it and see it. 

Fritzi Bodenheim, the spokesperson for the Brooklyn Public Library, hopes people will come and experience the new exhibit. They have a series of programs called Justice Initiatives that help justice-impacted families connect with critical resources. 

If you want to give to the Melquain Jatelle Anderson foundation, click here. If you want more information about the Justice Initiates programs, click here.