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Miami Artists Honor 30 Healthcare Heroes On Frontlines Of Pandemic With New Exhibit

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The portraits will be on display through Feb. 12, 2022 in the lobby of Mount Sinai Medical Center's Skolnick Surgical Tower.

Oolite Arts, in partnership with Mount Sinai Medical Center, is launching On The Frontline, an art exhibition featuring work by five Miami-based artists that pays tribute to the hospital's healthcare heroes. The exhibition's opening coincides with World Gratitude Day today, Sept. 21 and it features 22" x 30" portraits of 30 hospital staff members. The portraits will be on display through Feb. 12, 2022 in the lobby of Mount Sinai Medical Center's Skolnick Surgical Tower, although not currently open to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"We wanted to find a way to express our sincere gratitude to the healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and felt that art would help serve this purpose," said Dennis Scholl, President & CEO of Oolite Arts. "Through our ongoing partnership with Mount Sinai Medical Center, we are honored to be able to cast a spotlight on a number of our community's heroes. This exhibit will hopefully bring great pride to the medical center's medical staff, employees, patients and visitors - many of whom may recognize workers as coming to their rescue during difficult times."

For this special exhibit, Oolite Arts commissioned artists Stephen Arboite, Morel Doucet, Mark Fleuridor, William Osorio and Chire Regans (VantaBlack) to create six portraits each of select Mount Sinai Medical Center employees, ranging from nurses to custodial staff. The artists started this project in spring and produced the portraits in their preferred style and medium, based and inspired by photographs and interviews conducted with the staff. Some of the featured employees include: Georgia-born veteran patient care technician Deborah Johnson; registered nurse Miriam Carlson, originally from Nicaragua; Juan Rojas, team leader of environmental services; Ana Roberts, an administrative specialist who grew up in Miami Beach; Haitian-born Djennie Blaise, housekeeping; and security lead officer Tony Cobb, among others.

"This project has a special meaning to me because I come from a family of servants to the community," said Regans. "My younger brother is an Iraq War Veteran; my older brother is a Fire Rescue Sergeant; and my mother was a retired nurse up until the onset of the pandemic. In the midst of the pandemic, she decided to return to nursing, and currently works as a school nurse. We all serve our community in some way and it's important to me to continue to do so through my work as an artist. We've all seen first-hand that those who we rely on the most are those who are putting themselves at risk every day to keep us safe. I consider the work I created for this project a thank you to those who act selflessly every day."

"The most rewarding part of working here [Mount Sinai Medical Center] is taking care of the patients, making them feel better, and making an impact on their lives and their families," said Rosemonde Pierre, a nurse manager who has worked for Mount Sinai for 10 years. "I am grateful to be part of this project because this time has been very rough for everyone."

To learn more, visit oolitearts.org/exhibition/on-the-frontline/

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