2021 Benefits Tribute

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    Heroes behind the masks from Houston ISD on Vimeo.

    artist photo A Tribute to Heroes

    My name is Kristi Nelson. I am an artist from Houston, and a wife and mother to three beautiful children. I graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in studio arts and a minor in art history. I taught art at Waller High School for five years.

    When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and our family and friends on the frontlines were affected, I felt a need to do something to show my support for what they were all risking as well as experiencing.

    After receiving selfies from my sister-in-law and next-door neighbor in their masks, I felt inspired to draw a nurse wearing a mask on our sidewalk with chalk pastel.

    Her face was composed of vivid colors to represent a wide array of emotion and she wore a mask. I chose to make the eyes the center of attention by adding the most detail to them. I believe that the eyes are the windows to one’s soul and my hope is for frontline heroes to see themselves in the way that so many others do, brave and beautiful.

    Above the nurse I added a message that simply stated, “Thankful for these superheroes.”

    That afternoon I drew a portrait of my neighbor Melissa as a gift to her. She had just started her journey working on a COVID-19 unit and I was eager to pay tribute to her in this way. I drew my sister-in-law Melanie who is a L&D nurse, then my friend Sonia who is a C.A.T.

    I explored the details of the eyes of my subjects by using colored pencils. I ventured out to pastel sticks along with heavy bodied acrylic paint. I mix my mediums in every piece depending on the feelings I am presented with during the artistic process.

    Soon requests started to come in from all over. I have been on this journey ever since. I do not see an end in sight as there are so many frontline workers who deserve to be recognized and thanked for all they do. This tribute is a small token of appreciation.