The City of Hamilton is turning to public art to pay tribute to health-care workers.
With the help of a citizen-led volunteer jury, the city has announced 15 winning designs that will be printed and installed on utility boxes outside four of Hamilton’s hospitals.
The tourism and culture division’s Ken Coit says the winning designs, chosen from 92 submissions, celebrate and support the role of health care providers in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coit notes that one design depicts people hanging out the windows of a building, “saying thank you, just like we had that tradition of banging pots out the windows” when the pandemic started last spring.
He says other winning submissions are “just fun and say thank you and have happy heart,” while others are “really compelling images of health-care workers.”
Installation of the graffiti-resistant wraps should be completed in the spring on traffic signal boxes outside of Hamilton General Hospital, Juravinski Hospital and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton — Charlton and West Fifth locations.
Coit notes that the project is an extension of public art on 35 utility boxes in the downtown core last year, around the theme of “celebrating urban life.”
He says that initiatives help “prevent graffiti,” “reach out to young artists to give them an opportunity to have the stuff displayed” and “create a sense of pride of place.”
Artists will receive $650 for the use of their work.
The project is funded by Hamilton’s transportation, operations and maintenance division and through the contributions of developers to the Downtown Hamilton Public Art Reserve.
The city spends more than $2 million each year to clean up litter and graffiti, which Mayor Fred Eisenberger has described as a “pervasive problem.”