Painting Honors Intermountain Healthcare Doctors, Nurses For Pandemic Work
Apr 5, 2021, 4:28 PM | Updated: 8:44 pm
MURRAY, Utah – Doctors and nurses on the front line of COVID-19 at Intermountain Healthcare received a lasting tribute from one Utah artist who created a painting to honor their work during the pandemic.
The pandemic has exhausted frontline healthcare workers physically, mentally and emotionally this last year.
They said teamwork and love for the patients and their families has kept them going, and one Utah artist captured that commitment.
“It’s been huge for me, almost healing in a way,” said local artist Heather Olsen.
On Monday, she unveiled her large painting “Together We Can Do This.” It represents and honors all caregivers for their sacrifice and dedication to saving lives during the pandemic.
“The idea of this piece is to show teams of healthcare workers coming together, working together to get us through this incredibly difficult time, which is exactly what they did,” said Olsen.
As the pandemic intensified a year ago, Olsen knew she had to do something.
Her sister is a nurse, so she witnessed how hard they worked.
“When I watched the news, I saw all the healthcare workers. I saw her,” said the artist.
Every day during the pandemic, her sister came home from work exhausted.
“I thought about my sister with every person that I painted and what they must be going through,” she said.
Olsen presented a smaller piece to ICU Nurse Elizabeth Hyde after she went to New York to help with their COVID-19 surge last spring.
“She handed it to me, and I opened it, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this looks like me. This is me,’” said Hyde.
That inspiration from the art gave her the boost she needed to carry-on.
“We battled through New York and we got through those two weeks, and now I’m home and I can do this,” said Hyde.
For others who have worked tirelessly, the art brought unexpected joy and validation.
Emergency Room Nurse Jay Larsen said the bold colors in the paining spoke to him about the boldness of the care they have given.
“We represent the tip of the spear in the battle against COVID and I believe we are doing well with it,” said Larsen.
“This is my outlet,” the artist said. “This is the way I express myself. It was really a healing process for me as I painted healthcare workers.”
Prints of the painting will be given to Intermountain hospitals and facilities in the coming weeks. The caregivers will also have a chance to get personal prints.