Austin muralist honors essential workers with art

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Sarah Wilson honors healthcare workers, firefighters, bus drivers, teachers and others through art.

AUSTIN, Texas – Austin is a city filled with beauty – both beauty in nature and in public art.

Sarah Wilson is an artist who helps bring public art to the city.

“Basically it’s a piece of paper and you put it down with wallpaper paste,” Sarah Wilson explained. “This is my first time doing this public art project.”

Her exhibit is called “Essentials” and highlights the city’s essential workers. One of these women was Martha Dodds.

“I’ve been a nurse at St. David’s for 34 years now in labor and delivery at St. David’s Medical Center,” said Dodds, who is a high-risk maternal transport nurse.

She is among the people who have been part of Wilson’s series highlighting essential workers.

“She and so many other healthcare workers are the superheroes among us right now, so I’m thrilled to be able to honor them,” Sarah said.

RELATED: Local Artist Honors Austin Healthcare Workers With Superhero Murals

It’s a way to honor not just Dodds, but a dozen other women across the city, including healthcare workers, firefighters, bus drivers, teachers and more. All have been deemed essential since the start of the pandemic.

“About half of them are still up, the weather has been in their way,” Wilson said.

However, Dodds and Wilson have known each other for a bit longer than the past two years.

“I worked with his father, Dr. Christopher Wilson, when I started at St. David’s in 1987. Dr. Wilson was one of the doctors I worked with,” Dodds said. “You know Sarah honored us in such a way Austin, you know through art.”

It is an honor through art, paying tribute to the essential workers who have kept us safe during the pandemic.

“Sarah captured that in her portraits and in all of her portraits, it was a real boost,” Martha said.

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