Heroes Not Forgotten: Artists From #MadeMay Provide Free Portrait Paintings to Healthcare Workers

Hundreds of artists on MadeMay.com are giving back to healthcare workers in a unique way with custom, handmade portrait paintings – for free.

Rei Llazani, Founder & CEO of MadeMay, says, “With the onset of Covid, people from around the world displayed great appreciation for healthcare staff. It is important to not forget the resilience these amazing men & women have shown and continue to show.”

Although MadeMay is as far from the healthcare industry as an online platform can be, its team felt compelled to express gratitude to the healthcare community in a way they knew best.

Llazani and his team sent out an email to their community of expert artists from around the world to suggest an idea – what if we created portrait paintings, entirely complimentary, to hardworking doctors, nurses, researchers, and hospital staff?

The idea was met with overwhelming support, and within 24 hours, hundreds of artists had excitedly expressed interest. Using photos found online of healthcare subjects, artists began turning them into personalized portrait paintings.

In a week, artists had begun creating portraits for physicians in California, to nurses in Illinois, to hospital staff in Florida, to Covid researchers in Massachusetts.

‍Serguei Zlenko, a professional artist with an impressive background including premier exhibitions around Europe, shares: “The motivation for creating this portrait of Dr. James Todaro was my deep respect and admiration for medical personnel, who risked their lives, stood up to protect people from this deadly Covid infection.” Mr. Zlenko shipped the portrait painting of Jamse Todaro MD from Helsinki, Finland all the way to Michigan, USA.

One recipient, a nurse in Nevada, said, “The artwork done of me brought tears to my eyes. I can’t believe someone, so talented, took the time to create this special moment for me. It means so much.”

Llazani says, “We are all aware of the bleak statistics and harsh consequences of Covid, but there is a quote from 16th-century Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus that I think to: ‘Give light, and the darkness will disappear.’ We recognize that this light are healthcare workers.”

MadeMay artist, Stephanie Bean, says, “I’m glad I could give back to an essential worker who helped contribute greatly during our time of need,” who went to deliver the portrait painting in-person. “She is selfless and always working hard for the community. She has one of the biggest hearts I know.” Bean adds, “She was amazed when she saw it and she said, ‘Wow, it looks just like me!'”

‍Llazani says, “We see two heroes – the healthcare heroes who are here for us when we need the the most. But also our artists, who have such big hearts to use their incredible talent to jump on an initiative like this as a way to give back.”