Art exhibit at Hohenfels seeks to ease the stress of coronavirus testing
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GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – An art exhibition that aims to take the minds of patients off the fact that medics are about to push a swab up their nose to test for the coronavirus has opened at the acute respiratory clinic at Hohenfels Training Area.
The brains behind the exhibition, which opened Sunday, are Jenn Clark, an art teacher at the kids’ club at Hohenfels, and her husband Capt. Zachariah Clark, who oversees the acute respiratory center.
“I reached out to some artists that I knew, and they knew some other artists, “ said Jenn Clark. “In total, we have nine artists and I asked them if they would be willing to donate their time and effort to create a piece for the COVID clinic. ”
The Clarks saw the exhibition as a way to provide some stress relief for patients who are bout to have a coronavirus test.
Each artist was assigned one of the letters that spell Hohenfels and was given a theme to work with, Jenn Clark said.
The theme for the artist who was given the first “H” in Hohenfels, for instance, was Bavaria’s Oktoberfest – canceled this year because of the coronavirus – while the person assigned the “O” had cuckoo clocks as a theme.
The resulting paintings are hung on the walls of the clinic’s waiting room, where the chairs face the artwork, allowing patients to “look at [the exhibition] if they are anxious or stressed,” Clark explained.
The exhibition also provides some relief for medics who work at the clinic, “because it can be a tiring job,” she said.
Between 50 and 150 people are tested for the virus every day at the clinic, which is located in the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, in the Albertshof area of Hohenfels.
The base is in Bavaria, which has seen more than 23,000 new coronavirus cases in the last week, Germany's public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute, said on its website Monday.
The exhibit will continue “until COVID is over, ” Jenn Clark said.
When that happens and the paintings are removed from the walls of the clinic, they will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to the creator of each piece, she said.