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San Diego shooting victim shares message of hope through art

Posted at 10:12 AM, Jun 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-12 13:12:26-04

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — As the country marks a day of demonstrations against gun violence, one San Diego man is sharing his story of survival and hope.

Will Barton was the victim of a random, senseless shooting 10 years ago. Today, he speaks openly about his journey through art.

“I’m choosing to use color and light to outwardly express what I’ve seen in a more positive way,” said Barton.

Barton opened an exhibit in Banker’s Hill on Saturday, featuring several pieces of his work. He uses his mouth to paint emotional images that reflect his reality and recovery.

ABC 10 News reported on Will’s story back when the shooting occurred a decade ago. His life was forever changes on night in Hillcrest when he was shot at random in the head, shoulder and throat at close range by a man and his girlfriend who were on a crime spree.

“You rebuild yourself in a sense through that tragedy and that becomes the new norm for you and hopefully it strengthens your entire being,” said Barton.

Doctors gave Will a less than 1% chance of survival. But against all odds, he survived and now uses his story to uplift others and to speak out against gun violence.

“People are going around grabbing automatic weapons and shooting people senselessly…why don’t they grab a paint brush and express their feelings through that,” he said.

Barton hopes his art enables others who have gone through the darkest of times to see the world in color once again.

His art exhibit will run through Saturday July 9th. All proceeds will go towards Barton’s caregiving expenses. Those interested in attended or learning more can DM the instagram account @marie_najera