Curtis Wazny’s Laser’s Edge Design has been producing face shields to help protect local hospital and business workers from COVID-19. This recent history is on display at the Red Deer museum. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

COVID-19 milestones recounted in Red Deer museum display

Citizens have been adapting to the ‘new normal’ in innovative ways

Some Red Deer-area residents have been adapting to the new era of COVID-19 in innovative, creative ways.

Recent history is on display at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, which has a small exhibit featuring ways some area residents have coped with — and fought against — the virus.

The display includes one of the face shields being manufactured by Curtis Wazny’s Laser’s Edge Design.

The Penhold business went from making custom engravings to creating personal protective equipment for hospital staff — all it took was a phone call from Wazny’s mom, a nurse in Grande Prairie.

She complained of not having adequate protective equipment, so Wazny came up with a shield pattern, got approval for it, and went into production making 5,000 shields a day for the hospital and area businesses.

The museum’s exhibit also tells of Troubled Monk Brewery, which went into hand sanitizer production to help deal with a shortage of the product.

Creativity has also helped individuals weather the “new normal.”

Amy Aulenback, 13, has been taking photos of Red Deer sites, including shutdown playgrounds and empty parking lots during the lockdown in March and April.

While Aulenback admitted to initially “seeing no upside” without her friends, teachers and a usual school schedule, she eventually began feeling inspired by the emptiness of the city.

“I had the idea of doing a before and after pandemic project with my photos,” states Aulenback, who has some of her works displayed at the museum.

Local artists and educators Erin Boake and Marnie Blair also had their creativity nudged by the pandemic — with altruistic results.

In their 14-day Daily Bread Challenge, Blair baked loaves of bread and photographed them as part of a still life that Boake then painted. By selling off their creations, the pair raised $1,800 for The Mustard Seed charity.

The exhibit continues to Sept. 5.

Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery

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