Chicago artist survives Haiti earthquake

July 20, 2010 9:12:08 AM PDT
Families here in Chicago with relatives in Haiti are waiting to hear if their loved ones survived the deadly earthquake. One Batavia mother says she spent Wednesday waiting to hear from her daughter Susan Frame who is in Haiti on a volunteer art mission. She heard from her late last Tuesday night.

Frame, 35, a working artist and employee of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago went to Jacmel, Haiti a week ago to be with her friend of 18 years, Flores "Flo" McGarrel. McGarrel, the director of a non-profit arts organization, did not survive the earthquake. McGarrel is believed to be in the rubble of the Piece of Mind Hotel that collapsed in the earthquake.

"Yesterday was a day of waiting and being on the phone and talking to people. We heard from her last evening through an email she had someone send to us," said Doris Frame, Susan's mother.

Doris says she had to make the call to Flo McGarrel's mother in Vermont to tell her that her son did not survive the earthquake.

"Her friend Flo was trapped in a hotel and her message is she spent the day digging Flo out. I can't imagine what it would be like to dig your friend out of the earth," said Doris.

Both friends were in Haiti working on developing a wood shop that would exist to train local artists. Susan is currently the assistant director of the instructional shops at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Frames want to raise awareness about the devastation in Jacmel. And they want their daughter to return home to safety.

Flores "Flo" McGarrel is an alum and faculty member of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


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