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Artwork honoring COVID-19 medical workers unveiled at Intermountain Medical Center
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Artwork honoring COVID-19 frontline medical workers unveiled at Intermountain Medical Center

(Utah Valley Hospital Nurse Administrator Maria Black speaks with artist Heather Olsen about the piece "Together, We Can Do This." Credit: Paul Nelson)

MURRAY, Utah — A new tribute to frontline medical workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.  A new piece of art was unveiled at Intermountain Medical Center, and the artist says she tried to show them as the superheroes they really are. 

The main theme of the painting “Together, We Can Do This” was teamwork, and how it takes medical staff from every field to help the public deal with the health demands of COVID-19.  The original concept of the painting is quite different than what artist Heather Olsen was initially thinking

“Initially, it was kind of like a war, like, ‘We can do this!’ Then someone mentioned something about superheroes, and I thought they were totally heroes.  That’s when the idea popped in my head,” she says.

Olsen says movies like The Avengers were a big inspiration for her piece, but instead of Ironman being placed near the top, she placed a doctor.  Instead of Thor, Captain America and Black Widow, she painted nurses, respiratory technicians and other clinical workers.

(The painting “Together, We Can Do This,” by Heather Olsen. Photo: Paul Nelson)

She says, “Just that little nudge of ‘superhero,’ and I thought of the superhero movie posters.”

Medical workers getting their first glimpse at the new painting say it reminds them of all the hardship they dealt with when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its worst.  Utah Valley Hospital Nurse Administrator Maria Black says she could feel the theme of “teamwork” through the painting, and she feels that was crucial in keeping the hospital system from becoming overwhelmed.

Black says, “It wasn’t just a physician or a nurse.  It’s a team of caregivers who really work together to help take care of the patients during a pandemic.”

Others like Chief Nursing Officer Amy Christensen say they could sense the feeling of fatigue and concern in the eyes of the people in the artwork.

“It captures the emotions of what we’ve all been through for the past year,” she says.

Prints of the painting will be made and distributed through Intermountain hospitals in the coming weeks.


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