CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - For Mike Wirth, art has always been an outlet. So when his 18-year-old cousin was on of the 17 people killed in the Florida school shooting he picked up a brush.
"I don't know, I don't know what laws to tweak or what but I'm going to make every discussion that I have with somebody that's about this -- meaningful," Wirth told FOX 46. "And to express that we are people and in the end that all of the other things that are supporting this system as it currently is, has to stop. It has to stop."
The shooting hits home for Wirth. His cousin, Meadow Pollack was one of the 17 victims killed in the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. He posted a video to Instagram, adding a funny story of the last time he saw his cousin alive.
"She comes over and she doesn't even look at me, she's testing the whole time and she's like, 'Hi,' and as she's hugging me she's looking over her shoulder and still texting a few of her friends."
The director and professor at Queens University of Charlotte fears his students could be next.
"I don't know if the system, currently, can support this any longer. I'm going to do everything I can, as a parent and as an educator, and as an artist and as a family member of the shooting-- we're going to get change. It's going to happen."
Thousands of students in Florida and across the country are pushing for stricter gun law. Meadows father addressed President Trump and called for schools to be fixed.
"And I'm pissed," he told the President. "It's my daughter I'm not going to see again. It's not always mental illness, it's societal illness."
Wirth enjoys painting portraits, but the portrait of his cousin is on he wishes he didn't have to paint. However, he wants to make sure people remember the person who inspired it.
"People are dying and you know, one of my family members is dead."