'These people put their lives on the line': Artist paints 45 portraits of health care workers in 45 days

'These people put their lives on the line': Artist paints 45 portraits of health care workers in 45 days
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Maria Bennett Hock artist wanted to showcase health care workers who worked long, difficult hours at a North Carolina hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.”These people put their lives on the line,” Hock told WRAL. “I wish I could help.”The portrait artist found a way to do just that and asked employees at Duke University Hospital,— nurses, doctors, maintenance workers, kitchen staff — to send her selfies. Then, she got to work.On Oct. 30, Hock displayed the first portrait. She completed 45 portraits in 45 days. “And sometimes I would just cry. I would look at them and think about them, think what they’re doing,” she said. Hock said she hoped people realized the gravity of the pandemic through the portraits, which were on display at the hospital for three months.”I want them to see — when I asked them to take the selfies, I said I didn’t want a bunch of smiling faces. I said, ‘I want to know what you look like at the end of the day.'”Leon Rogers is featured in one of the portraits. He transports patients from the hospital lobby to whichever clinic they’re going to. But that’s not all he offers patients. “I’m also blessed to be able to sing to every one of them, just to be an uplift,” Rogers said. Hock recently got to meet the subjects of her 45 portraits and gave each of them their paintings.”As far as I’m concerned, this is the most important body of work I’ve ever done,” Hock said.

Maria Bennett Hock artist wanted to showcase health care workers who worked long, difficult hours at a North Carolina hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“These people put their lives on the line,” Hock told WRAL. “I wish I could help.”

The portrait artist found a way to do just that and asked employees at Duke University Hospital,— nurses, doctors, maintenance workers, kitchen staff — to send her selfies. Then, she got to work.

On Oct. 30, Hock displayed the first portrait. She completed 45 portraits in 45 days.

“And sometimes I would just cry. I would look at them and think about them, think what they’re doing,” she said.

Hock said she hoped people realized the gravity of the pandemic through the portraits, which were on display at the hospital for three months.

“I want them to see — when I asked them to take the selfies, I said I didn’t want a bunch of smiling faces. I said, ‘I want to know what you look like at the end of the day.'”

Leon Rogers is featured in one of the portraits. He transports patients from the hospital lobby to whichever clinic they’re going to.

But that’s not all he offers patients.

“I’m also blessed to be able to sing to every one of them, just to be an uplift,” Rogers said.

Hock recently got to meet the subjects of her 45 portraits and gave each of them their paintings.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is the most important body of work I’ve ever done,” Hock said.

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