A nurse in Captain America colors: Murals honoring doctors, nurses, first responders going up near Medical District
“Medical workers are kind of the glue holding the world together right now,” said Dwight White II, one of the muralists.
Artist Dwight White II has seen a nurse who lives in his University Village apartment building coming and going recently at late hours.
He’s talked to her from opposite sides of the elevator, pleasantries mostly, but never got her name.
She has no idea she’s the inspiration for a mural White just painted on the side of Lulu’s Hot Dogs, 1000 S. Leavitt St., in which she’s dressed like Captain America.
“She sparked my inspiration; medical workers are kind of the glue holding the world togetherright now,” said White, 26.
The artwork is part of Murals for Medical Relief, a campaign that’s tapping local artists to paint murals on buildings near the Illinois Medical District on the Near West Side honoring medical workers and first responders. The campaign’s website — muralsformedicalrelief.com —has a map showing where each mural is located.
“We thought ‘Why not brighten up this area with some murals that pay tribute to health care workers,” said Michael Panico, owner of Vinco, who lives near the Medical District.
“There are a total of six murals planned, but we’re going to do as many as we can through the month of May,” Panico said.
The artists are donating their time, and local businesses are donating the wall space.
A GoFundMe campaign tied to the project is up and running with donations to be given to Cook County Health, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Rush University Medical Center.
Prints of the artwork will also be sold online with half the proceeds going to the artists and half going to the charity fundraising effort.
A second mural is being painted on the side of Chilango, a Mexican street food restaurant at 1437 W. Taylor St.
Joseph Renda, 24, hopes to finish the piece — a floatingface mask above a wooden platform with flowers growing out of it — by Saturday.
“The flowers represent strength, gratitude and passion,” Renda said,noting he appreciatesthehonks of support from passing motorists.
Renda brings a unique perspective to the work first responders do. His father, Joseph Renda Sr., is a retired firefighter.
“My father was a firefighter for 36 years, so I support firstresponders for sure,” Renda said.