Women essential workers highlighted in downtown Austin portrait displays

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — You may have started seeing life-sized images of women who are essential workers going up around town.

It’s part of the city’s “ArtsResponders” program run by the Dougherty Arts Center.

Sarah Wilson was one of the artists selected to display her work in the program. We spoke to her in December about her portrait series “Essentials.”

At the start of the pandemic, Wilson got the idea to take portraits of women who are essential workers. She got 14 images to start: medics, a doctor, a poll worker, food service workers, a delivery worker and more.

She helped apply one portrait to a building downtown on 17th Street near Lavaca Street Tuesday. In all, 15 of her portraits will be displayed across the city, including photos of a teacher, a firefighter and custodian.

“My heart has grown many times over just meeting these people and working with them and hoping to kind of remind them and to remind us of all of the people that are working so hard that maybe aren’t getting the ‘thank you’ that they deserve,” Wilson said.

She said she’s still looking for more buildings to place her photos on.

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