One.of.Windsor's.busiest intersections near the Met Campus of Windsor Regional Hospital is now home to a large mural paying tribute to frontline healthcare workers.
Believed to be one of the largest murals in Canada to thank frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, local artist David Derkatz, also known as "DERKZ", wanted to do something to give back to the community.
"The only way I know how is through public art," he says.
The mural, measuring 25 feet by 70 feet, takes up the entire north-facing wall of the Penalty Box at Tecumseh Road and Walker Road and depicts two healthcare workers facing each other with a rose and dove between them.
One worker is a nurse, Jamie Osborn who worked at the Penalty Box while going to school, while the other is Dr. Eli Malus from Windsor Regional Hospital.
Derkatz has been painting murals for 10 years and with a family full of nurses and doctors, some on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19, he felt the mural was the best way to promote peace and love.
"The more eyes on it, the better," he says. "Even before their (healthcare workers) shift or after their shift, they can see it and get some pictures in front of it and spread some love."
Derkatz approached the owner of the Penalty Box Van Niforos who didn't hesitate to donate his wall to the piece of art, along with supplies and the lift.
Van Niforos says the call was God sent.
When DERKZ showed Niforos the renderings of artwork he had in mind, Niforos was shocked.
"The man is unbelievable and to have such talent is tremendous," says Niforos. "We are so close to the hospital and we watch people going in and out every day, we know people are living in their driveways to keep their families safe while they are working on us. It is an unbelievable effort from first responders, so the least we can do is honour them."
Niforos couldn't be prouder to host the mural saying, "It is the best thing that has happened outside of this building. I knew it was going to be something special. I knew it in my heart."
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