Grand Prairie family turns son’s memorial service into art exhibit – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
The family and friends of a Grand Prairie boy who was fatally struck by a car gathered on Saturday in his memory at a service his parents held as an art exhibition showcasing his work.
Nico Escalante, 9, died in September after Grand Prairie police said he was hit by a car in a parking lot on private property near the 2600 block of Mayfield Road.
Since then, her mother Fernanda Sedeno said the family have collected more than 150 works of art by Nico from all over the house.
“On sketchbooks, notepads, post-its, we open our fridge and they’re everywhere,” Sedeno said. “When we walked through his room, we realized he had a hiding place under his mattress. It made us cry never to see how… they were really talented. They were very creative and he knew what he was doing.
To celebrate his life and honor his passion for art, Nico’s parents came up with the idea of turning his memorial service into his first solo art gallery.
“It brings us comfort and peace knowing that even those who weren’t fortunate enough to meet him, they can walk away with a little bit of him. This is what we would always tell her: “Shine bright, be yourself and own it,” she said. “What better way to celebrate him than an art gallery he always wanted? He always told us: “One day … I will grow up.” I’m going to have my own art show. We did our best today.
Outside the Grand Prairie Funeral Home on Saturday, guests were greeted by a string of rainbow-shaped balloons. Inside the funeral home were more colorful balloons and Nico’s artwork. Among the guests on Saturday was her art teacher, Todd Dubblede.
“He definitely had something more than just average. I don’t know, in almost all of this you only see joy and light coming through, ”Dubblede said, referring to Nico’s work. “He wouldn’t be happy with tears today. So we celebrate his art. I know he is looking down and is happy everyone is enjoying his art. Everyone loved him. You had to. It was not possible not to love him. He was just positive, kind, gentle every day.
Nico’s father, Jesus Escalante, said his son will be remembered for more than his creativity and artistry, but also his individuality and kindness.
“I think the world is moving so fast these days, you know… everyone is worried about work and stuff, it really means a lot to slow down and be a family, to take the time and to motivate them. [children] be what they want to be, ”said Escalante.
As their family goes through some of their most difficult days, Sedeno thanked the community for their prayers and kind messages.
“No parent should go through this, but it relieves the pain a bit with the help and love of the community,” she said.
Sedeno said all easels purchased for the artwork on display on Saturday will be donated to Nico Primary School on his behalf.