Nearly 200 Red Deerians sent their hearts to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
These colourful, heart-themed artworks now make up two murals that were installed at the health care facility as a lasting testament to the community’s appreciation for front-line workers during the pandemic.
People of all ages had been invited to “share their hearts” with hospital workers during the COVID-19 pandemic during the last Alberta Culture Days in September.
The 181 images they painted on small squares of canvas were later gifted to the hospital, as part of the collaborative community art project initiated by the Red Deer Arts Council and the City of Red Deer.
So many painted hearts were submitted that two separate murals were created out of them. These are now up at two locations in the hospital — on the main floor and in the walkway to the Intensive Care Unit.
“When you cannot personally thank a hero, you hold them in your heart. In this case, we put our hearts on canvases and sent them to our heroes,” said Annette Scheper, community facilitator for the City of Red Deer.
Scheper added the murals reflect the community’s “heartfelt connection” to medical staff during this troubled time. “We know our hearts don’t beat alone… For this art project, many hearts harmonized… creating a labyrinth of love that extends beyond the hospital walls.”
Red Deer hospital officials responded on the city’s website wearereddeer.ca by saying this “touching gift” means a lot.
Michael Mulholland, the hospital’s medical director sees The Hearts for the Hospital art project as a physical reminder of the care the community has for the hospital. “During the COVID 19 pandemic, the love we have received from the citizens of Red Deer has been critical support for us,” he added.
“For over a year now our bedside staff have been caring for Central zone residents impacted by the pandemic. Having this art, created by Red Deerians, is a beautiful reminder of the support from our community. Thank you to everyone who contributed,” said Kim Storey, the facilities’ senior operating officer.
“This is so touching. We are in this together, and appreciate our community standing with us,” said Sharon Bilanski, director of surgical services.