Rochester-area native honors frontline workers with paintings |

Rochester-area native honors frontline workers with paintings

Emily Putnam
Updated: October 12, 2020 12:06 AM
Created: October 11, 2020 09:15 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — When the pandemic hit us in March, artist Julia Maddalina wanted to do something to help. Originally from Rochester, Maddalina’s artwork is catching the attention of people across the country and overseas – specifically frontline healthcare workers. 

As a professional illustrator and painter, Maddalina went back to her roots for a way to give back to healthcare workers when the pandemic was in its early weeks in the United States. 

But first, she turned to Twitter.

"I reached out on Twitter, just because there were a bunch of healthcare worker hashtags going around, to see if any of them would be interested in having their portrait painted," says Maddalina. 

As it turns out, many people were interested. After a flurry of replies, she decided to put a cap on the project.

"Around number 50, I think, I figured I need to say this is gonna be a 100-works project," says Maddalina. 

Many weeks of sketching and painting later, her final product, called “Portraits of the Frontline”, is composed of one hundred 4” x 7” portraits of healthcare workers from all over the country. EMTs, nurses, doctors, and all kinds of frontline healthcare workers were included as they fought to keep the virus at bay. 

"The initial thought was, I'm just gonna keep painting portraits until the end of quarantine, naively at the time thinking this would just be a couple weeks," Maddalina says.

While we wait for gallery spaces to reopen, she created a poster depicting all one hundred portraits she painted as part of this series. To view or purchase the poster, click here.

This project was Maddalina’s way of saying thank you to healthcare workers for keeping us safe and to amplify their stories through her artwork. All proceeds raised from the project will go toward COVID-19 charity organizations, including Project Hope, a group working to support healthcare workers throughout the pandemic. 

"I just wanted to shine a little bit of positivity and, you know, express the healthcare workers' emotions and feelings through, you know, honestly just their eyes," she says. "I think it's fascinating how much you can really read from, about their story from just their eyes in these portraits."

To learn more about Julia and her work, you can visit her website here. You can also go to the site specifically on her "Portraits of the Frontline" project here

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