Students show artistic appreciation for essential workers


S. Gebka

By Sara Gebka

Throughout the final week of February, seven art students volunteered to paint windows to show appreciation for front-line workers at Northwestern Medicine Hospital in Huntley, Illinois.

“I was contacted by hospital staff requesting student artwork on the windows of the employee entrance,” said Jillian Corapi, visual arts teacher. “The purpose was to provide a unique way to say ‘thank you’ to our local front-line workers. We hoped to bring a smile to their day and motivation to continue with the work they are doing.”

Each student brought in their own idea for what they wanted to paint and were asked to choose a window panel to work on. Artworks varied from a simple “thank you” to more advanced styles. Some were collages between two students, and other pieces had more colors to help make the employee entrance pop.

Many students volunteered to show their appreciation because of how the pandemic has played out.

“I wanted to paint windows because I know in this pandemic, morale is very low,” junior Lizzie Ingrassia said. “This is especially true for healthcare workers since they’re on the front lines. Art is a sure fire way to spark joy into anyone and seeing these paintings on your way into work is a reminder of how important you are.”

Ingrassia and junior Charlotte Sveen painted two of the more complex panels: a doctor with a superhero shadow and a doctor holding a globe. Both students wanted to try and reflect how important doctors truly are, especially now.

According to senior Erin Lynch, she just wanted to try window painting out while also showing appreciation. She painted three window panels that consisted of a flower, tree, and stethoscope.

Safety precautions were taken into account when Corapi was planning out how and when the students would visit. Approximately three students worked per day at various hours.

“The hospital was able to provide our HHS students with a safe, spacious environment to work with and the freedom to show creativity in their window designs,” Corapi said.

In addition to their appreciation for frontline workers, students enrolled in the Fine Arts Academy had the opportunity to log in volunteer hours.

“This project was fun and easy to set up, and I loved the opportunity for our art students to give back to the community using their talents,” Corapi said.