GILBERT, AZ — A movement that first started in England has now made its way to Arizona.
Artists with the Gilbert Visual Art League and Mesa Art League are painting portraits of frontline workers and giving the portraits to them as a ‘thank you’ for their hard work during this pandemic.
Jane Bradley Wine says she came across a social media post, offering to paint a free portrait of a healthcare worker. She posted it on her social media page and her friends who are also artists did the same.
“This is one thing we can do at least to give back,” Bradley said.
“I thought about it and I thought I really do want to give back and I don’t know how but this is one way I can,” Glenda Nieman, who’s also an artist, said.
Friends and family of frontline workers started reaching out to them, including some who they’d never met before.
Bradley connected with Dr. Olajide Williams, who’s in New York and working at Colombia University Irvine Medical Center.
“I got to know her and first of all I was very impressed by her commitment to this cause,” he said. “But I also felt rather overwhelmed by the prospect of anyone wanting to paint me.”
The portraits reflect the pain they’ve seen and their ability to keep helping.
“When I look at that portrait, it will also cross my mind back to that time of great challenge and great difficulty,” Dr. Williams said. “And it’s going to be kind of a sense of relief that I made it through and I was able to help many other people make it through.”