Sept. 21, 2021
Oolite Arts Partners with Mount Sinai Medical Center to Honor 30 Healthcare Heroes on the Frontline of the Pandemic
Five Miami-based artists created portraits of hospital workers for new exhibit, launching on National Gratitude Day on Sept. 21
Sept. 21, 2021 (MIAMI) – Oolite Arts, in partnership with Mount Sinai Medical Center, will launch On The Frontline, an art exhibition featuring work by five Miami-based artists that pays tribute to the hospital’s healthcare heroes. The exhibition’s opening coincides with National Gratitude Day on Sept. 21 and it features 22” x 30” portraits of 30 hospital staff members. The portraits will be on display through Feb. 13, 2022 in the lobby of Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Skolnick Surgical Tower, although not currently open to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We wanted to find a way to express our sincere gratitude to the healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and felt that art would help serve this purpose,” said Dennis Scholl, President & CEO of Oolite Arts. “Through our ongoing partnership with Mount Sinai Medical Center, we are honored to be able to cast a spotlight on a number of our community’s heroes. This exhibit will hopefully bring great pride to the medical center’s medical staff, employees, patients and visitors – many of whom may recognize workers as coming to their rescue during difficult times.”
For this special exhibit, Oolite Arts commissioned artists Stephen Arboite, Morel Doucet, Mark Fleuridor, William Osorio and Chire Regans (VantaBlack) to create six portraits each of select Mount Sinai Medical Center employees, ranging from nurses to custodial staff. The artists produced the portraits in their preferred style and medium, based and inspired by photographs and interviews conducted with the staff. Some of the featured employees include: Georgia-born veteran patient care technician Deborah Johnson; registered nurse Miriam Carlson, originally from Nicaragua; Juan Rojas, team leader of environmental services; Ana Roberts, an administrative specialist who grew up in Miami Beach; Haitian-born Djennie Blaise, housekeeping; and security lead officer Tony Cobb, among others.
“This project has a special meaning to me because I come from a family of servants to the community,” said Regans. “My younger brother is an Iraq War Veteran; my older brother is a Fire Rescue Sergeant; and my mother was a retired nurse up until the onset of the pandemic. In the midst of the pandemic, she decided to return to nursing, and currently works as a school nurse. We all serve our community in some way and it’s important to me to continue to do so through my work as an artist. We’ve all seen first-hand that those who we rely on the most are those who are putting themselves at risk every day to keep us safe. I consider the work I created for this project a thank you to those who act selflessly every day.”
“The most rewarding part of working here [Mount Sinai Medical Center] is taking care of the patients, making them feel better, and making an impact on their lives and their families,” said Rosemonde Pierre, a nurse manager who has worked for Mount Sinai for 10 years. “I am grateful to be part of this project because this time has been very rough for everyone.”
To view the portraits and learn more about this project, visit oolitearts.org/exhibition/on-the-frontline/
About the Artists:
Stephen Arboite is a multidisciplinary artist of Haitian descent who was born and raised in New York City and now resides in Miami, Florida. Arboite’s work considers beauty outside of classical aesthetic paradigms and places an emphasis on spiritual transformation and evolution of human consciousness.
Morel Doucet is a Miami-based multidisciplinary artist and arts educator. His work portrays a contemporary depiction of the Black experience, cataloging a powerful record of environmental decay at the intersection of economic inequity, the commodification of industry, personal labor and race.
Mark Fleuridor is a Haitian American artist born and raised in Miami, Florida. Fleuridor explores his own personal history within his background and familial experiences. These topics are explored through mediums such as painting, performance, quilting and collage.
William Osorio is a Miami-based artist who was born in Cuba in 1989. His artistic practice consists of a game of concealment and revelation of the subject in an attempt to analyze human behavior. The human figure as a pictorial element becomes an unavoidable reference.
Chire Regans (VantaBlack) believes that her role as an artist is to allow pertinent societal concerns to inform her practice and to amplify the voices of those she engages with through her work. Over the past decade, VantaBlack has become immersed in community advocacy and social narratives depicted without distortion, in a variety of mediums.
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ABOUT OOLITE ARTS
Oolite Arts helps Miami-based artists advance their careers and inspires the cultural community to engage with their work. Established in 1984, Oolite Arts is both a community and a resource, providing visual artists with the studio space, exhibition opportunities and financial support they need to experiment, grow and enrich the city. Through its educational programming, Oolite Arts helps Miamians learn about contemporary art and develop their own artistic skills.
Exhibitions and programs at Oolite Arts are made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the Miami Beach Mayor and City Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Funding Arts Network, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For more information, visit oolitearts.org. Follow @oolitearts on social media.
ABOUT MOUNT SINAI MEDICAL CENTER
Founded in 1949, Mount Sinai Medical Center is the largest independent, private, not-for-profit teaching hospital in South Florida. Mount Sinai’s mission is to provide quality health care to a diverse community enhanced through teaching, research, charity care and financial responsibility. Mount Sinai’s Centers of Excellence combine technology, research and academics to provide innovative and comprehensive care in cardiology, neuroscience, oncology, urology and orthopedics. One of the original statutory teaching hospitals in the state of Florida, Mount Sinai is the hospital of choice for those who seek the level of expertise and care that only a teaching hospital can offer. Mount Sinai currently offers 11 convenient locations, including three emergency centers in Miami-Dade County and two specialty care offices in Monroe County. For more information on Mount Sinai Medical Center, visit www.msmc.com or call 305-674-CARE (2273).