Art fosters a COVID connection

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 8:45 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Artist Eric Fitzpatrick captures the timeless beauty of western Virginia in his landscapes.

And he hopes his art will provide some reassurance during a difficult moment in time.

“Hopefully these paintings will serve as ... a little shot of color, a little shot of hope in an otherwise dismal time,” Fitzpatrick said Thursday morning.

Every Monday for the last 15 weeks, Fitzpatrick has shared an image, and some encouraging words, with friend Dr. Molly O’Dell, communicable disease director for the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts.

“This was an oil study of the road that leads to Floyd. We always have to pass through some shadows as we journey,” Fitzpatrick said in a recent note to O’Dell.

She, in turn, has shared the artwork with 150 health department staffers, some of whom have printed out the images and posted them at their desks.

“For our workers, it’s COVID all the time,” O’Dell told WDBJ7 in an interview. “And I think it’s really important for people to take a break and get a perspective that there is real life out there, outside of COVID.”

Fitzpatrick said his goal is simple: to lift the spirits of people who are doing important work under challenging conditions.

“Here is a reminder of the life and vitality of the city market,” Fitzpatrick wrote. “We are necessarily cautious at present, but it has to do our hearts good to know that somewhere down the line we will see this colorful chaos once more. Thanks again to all of you brave warriors for all you are doing to keep us safe. Gratefully, Eric.”

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