FERGUS – Inside the Fergus COVID-19 assessment centre, art murals created by a staff member are helping to uplift the spirits of those visiting and working there during the pandemic.
“It brings a little bit of joy to people and same with the staff too,” says Jennifer Guy, a support service staff member at the former Groves Memorial Hospital who is behind the murals, "It makes the whole work experience a whole lot better."
Guy created the first murals earlier in April when she decided to draw something on one of the walls.
“It started out with me just like, coming in everyday and writing down the list of staff who were supposed to be in and the date,” says Guy, recalling how she got started, “Then Easter time came around, so I was writing the date and I was like, you know what, I’m just going to draw a little rabbit, right? Just to jazz it up a little bit.”
When one of the nurses saw the rabbit, Guy says they asked her if she could draw something on the walls near the nurses cubicle.
“And I said, 'sure why not?'”
Guy created both murals using old markers that were brought to her by other staff and security guards.
“I did an Easter theme up there before so I was trying to think of what to do for May, and so I figured May flowers, springtime, and I added the unicorn for when kids come in,” says Guy. “and I’ll change it up again once summertime comes closer.”
So far, Guy says all reactions to the murals have been positive. She adds it’s nice to help take people’s minds off getting their swab test done.
“We’re in dark times right now, there’s a lot of negativity and if I can brighten up someone’s day, I will continue to do it.”
Before working at Groves, Guy also created murals and organized arts and crafts at a retirement home she previously worked for.
Guy says she doesn’t have much of an artistic background, but has always loved art and grew up doing DIY projects and being creative.
“I have ADHD, so my mind’s all over the place and I’m go, go, go, so like, that (drawing) kind of makes me focus a bit too,” she says.
She mentions also taking cues from her mother, who was also a former worker at Groves Hospital and would put up posters around the old hospital building.
“She was super pumped,” says Grey about her reaction to the murals. “She was like, ‘like mother, like daughter, I’m super proud of you. I love it!’”