Striking new downtown mural honors essential workers and local heroes
As the nation battles record-breaking coronavirus cases and hospitals are jam-packed with new patients, thoughts have no doubt turned to those on the front lines of the war on COVID-19. There have been video tributes from celebrities, clanging of pots and pans, and of course, the now-popular spontaneous applause from apartments in New York.
Now, Houstonians can honor essential workers at a new downtown public art installation. “Hands of Heroes” by local artist Anat Ronen, is located at the Jack C. Alexander Plaza, in front of The Grove restaurant in Discovery Green.
Ronen started on the mural days after 60,000 Houstonians gathered at Discovery Green and marched to City Hall to demand justice for George Floyd, according to a press release. Her “Hands” is said to represent the diversity of Houston and the many heroes in the community — those who are fighting for equality, working 12 hour shifts at the hospital, or restocking grocery store shelves.
Ronen also drew inspiration from “The Synchronicity Wall,” a Discovery Green public art installation by Margo Sawyer.
Visitors can pose in front of the mural and post photos to social media using the hashtags #HoustonStrong, #DiscoveryGreen, and #TheGrove. Meanwhile, The Grove, the Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group restaurant located on the southern end of Discovery Green, is offering a free appetizer with a purchase of equal or greater value when they show their post to restaurant staff.
For every 1,000 check-ins at the mural, The Grove will throw a complimentary happy hour for essential workers. Logistics will be determined based on safety regulations in place at the time of the event.
“We can’t say thank you enough to the essential workers who are putting their lives on the line every day,” said Barry Mandel, president and park director. “That includes the essential work being done to fight for equality. This mural beautifully encapsulates our city’s diversity and strength.”