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Paintings of Vancouver's disappeared women given full exhibition Add to ...

Vancouver artist Pamela Masik has painted 69 three meter high portraits of women who disappeared from the city's Downtown Eastside. All of them will be exhibited together for the first time at MOA (formerly known as the Museum of Anthropology) for a show in February, 2011.

"It's very important because I really wanted to show them here in Vancouver first," says Masik, standing in her 1,300 square meter studio space, with about half of the giant portraits covering the walls and suspended from the ceiling. "It's such a great thing that they've given me that honour to show in that space."

Masik's guide was a poster she encountered years ago, with 69 tiny portraits of women who had disappeared from the Downtown Eastside, most of whom were ultimately found murdered or remain missing.

None of the portraits is signed with Masik's name. Instead, the name of the woman depicted in the portrait is found at the bottom.

"It all became about the killer," says Masik, who wanted to pay tribute to the women and their families.

Masik is opening her studio on Fridays in February, so locals and visitors can have a preview of some of the haunting portraits before next year's MOA show.

Masik is hoping the exhibition, called The Forgotten, will be shown across Canada.

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