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Students to honor frontline health care workers as part of the Anchorage School District’s upcoming art project

Jacob Bera, an art teacher at Eagle River High School, scrolls through images submitted as part...
Jacob Bera, an art teacher at Eagle River High School, scrolls through images submitted as part of ASD's upcoming "Portraits of Those Who Serve" project.(KTUU)
Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 4:39 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - For the past nine months, Jacob Bera has been teaching all of the art classes out of his family’s garage-turned-art-studio. He says it’s been the hardest he’s ever worked as a teacher, but it’s still tough connecting with students through a computer screen.

While that’s a situation that many teachers are familiar with and have likely faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bera’s goal heading into 2021 is to connect his classes with another group of locals who have worked harder than ever for most of the past year: frontline health care workers.

Bera’s idea is to collect selfies of as many nurses, doctors, and any other medical professional that’s been leading the charge against COVID-19, wearing their masks and protective gear. K-12 art students from across the Anchorage School District will then turn these images into portraits, to be displayed online and at the Anchorage Museum.

Ultimately, the images will be returned to each and every health care worker, as a way of saying “thank you” for their sacrifices during the last eight to nine months.

“Certainly we’re going to learn, in the classroom ... how to draw and paint and mix skin tones, all that good stuff,” Bera said. “Really, it’s to also connect them with these health care workers in our community that are serving them and helping them to understand the risk that’s being taken just going to work every day.”

On Tuesday, Bera said that he’s already received around 28 photos, but he hopes to get at least 100 before the Jan. 17 deadline for submitting images arrives.

More info on how to submit photos can be found HERE.

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