Stories: Who We Have Lost

Faces of Covid: Origins

Who did you lose to Covid 19? Cal Schoenfeld

My grandpa, Cal Schoenfeld, was everything to me. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 29, 1936 and found his adoration for art at a young age.

He went to school to become an artist and spent his younger years working to fulfill his dream. This passion for art is one he bestowed to me and was a special part of our relationship. We shared a love for three things: art, stories, and New York City — where he often proudly reminded us he was from.

Every year, my family and I planned a trip into the city with him, and in 2020 he was most excited about the idea of an excursion over the Brooklyn Bridge, one of his favorite landmarks, an iconic gateway to and from his home borough.

Unfortunately, he passed away due to Covid-19 in May 2020 before our adventure could happen. His passing inspired two things: Faces of Covid victims, which is an international art project I created, dedicated to memorializing loved ones lost to Covid-19 through art, and the annual Covid March to Remember over the Brooklyn Bridge. Both are done with a massive community strung together by love, empathy, grief, art, and the sharing of stories — something I know he would have loved.

I miss my grandpa every day, but I know he’s so, so proud of what has been accomplished because of him.

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