Coronavirus News: Artists brighten walls, spirits of NYC hospitals

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QUEENS, New York (WABC) -- Artists are using their skills to brighten both hospital buildings and the spirits inside of patients and health care workers.

Sarah Baecher grew up watching her mother craft imaginative and powerful imagery that has brightened up the stark walls for patients across the country as part of the organization Splashes of Hope.

"She started the organization 24 years ago with this simple vision of creating mural work to uplift medical environments," Baecher said.

But for the moment, the focus has shifted.

"We wanted to give a large visual thank you to the healthcare heroes that have been doing amazing work every day, but especially during the COVID-19 crisis," Baecher said.

Earlier this month, large murals were installed at Jamaica, Elmhurst and Flushing hospitals in Queens.

They were a gift from Splashes of Hope, sponsored by Masbeth Federal Savings as a tribute to the doctors, nurses and staff who battled the COVID-19 crisis.

"They were right on the front lines," Baecher said. "The last conversation that we had with the staff from all the hospitals was that they don't have as many COVID patients, they've been moved out. You could see the struggle in their eyes.

The artwork, which took two months to complete by multiple artists, features the words "Thank You" in 13 different languages, a cardinal to honor those who have passed on and a rainbow to symbolize that we are all in this together.

"You could just see how they were so appreciative of being appreciated," Baecher said. "Especially when you're going through so much and caring for our loved ones 24/7."

There is a waiting list of about 100 facilities around the country that want a mural installation but are still seeking a sponsor to fund the project.

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