An Austin Community College District (ACC) photography professor is looking for essential female workers for a new public art project that will be featured on buildings throughout Austin.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Central Texas, Sarah Wilson, ACC professional photography adjunct assistant professor, knew she wanted to do something to recognize those on the front lines. She started photographing essential female workers.
"I felt the need to recognize the courage and sacrifice of those who couldn't stay home because their services were necessary and needed for our community. And, so many of these essential workers are women, juggling a host of responsibilities while facing this public health crisis head-on," says Wilson. "My project, Essentials, was born out of that feeling."
Based on some of her initial portraits, Wilson was selected by the Dougherty Arts Center to participate in ArtsResponders: Social Practice Responds to COVID-19. The ArtsResponders program was launched by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department's Division of Museums and Cultural Programs to engage the community in an artistic response to cope with and overcome COVID-19.
Wilson will choose 10-15 essential workers to participate in a socially distant, masked outdoor portrait session. Those portraits will be posted to the sides of participating buildings throughout Austin.
While the call for nominations is open to anyone in the Austin community, Wilson is encouraging the Riverbat community to nominate themselves and their colleagues.
"ACC is one of Austin's best learning environments to receive training in medical sciences, education, culinary arts, and public and social services — essential careers. Many ACC students, staff, and faculty are already on the job in the midst of the pandemic, keeping our community safe and working on the frontlines, and I hope to honor them for their bravery and hard work during this time."
Nominations are open until January 15. Nominate an essential woman worker here.