Sidewalk chalk art took on an entirely new meaning for physicians and staff at the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current in May.
On May 16, the artistic talents of Chinook School Division teachers Amy Collins and Mandy Herrick were brought to life through a giant postcard of gratitude strategically placed on the cement walkway outside the staff entrance to the hospital.
“Staff members who we spoke with that day as they left the building, and those I’ve encountered since, all mentioned that Sunday was a challenging day and coming out to see the mural was such a bright spot and helped them feel better,” stated fellow Chinook School Division teacher Stefan Rumpel, who commissioned the piece.
Artist Amy Collins puts the finishing touches on the healthcare “tools” embedded into the word “HEROES”.
The idea evolved from a group chat discussion about the accolades health-care workers received from the public last spring and summer through pictures of hearts posted in windows and noisy salutes with banging pots and pans from balconies and front doors.
“It made us think that lately, there has been more pressure on ICUs across the province so now is the time we should be rallying behind our health-care workers,” Rumpel said.
Once the decision of size and location was determined by the larger group, Amy and Mandy took over full creative control. Last year, the pair collaborated on a similar postcard-style “greetings from home” chalk piece at a skate park that featured images inside the word HOME.
“For this piece, we knew we wanted to showcase tools of the trade of health-care workers inside a thank-you note,” they explained.
Within three hours of starting their collaboration, the salute to health-care heroes was complete. While the pair have done several commissions in the past, this was the first opportunity they had to experience the reactions of the recipients firsthand.
“That was the most fun part of the project,” Amy and Mandy said, “being outside when people were seeing it in person.”
“My hope is that all health-care workers know that many people support them and appreciate everything they are doing. I also hope the general public will get the message that the best way we can show our appreciation is by getting vaccinated and following the guidelines so we can give healthcare professionals a great summers as well,” Rumpel said.
A few weeks after the piece was originally created, the elements are slowly eroding the visibility of the chalk, but the sentiment behind the gesture will never be washed away.
The finished piece, a six-foot by eight-foot postcard of gratitude for healthcare heroes, was created on the cement outside the staff entrance to the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current.