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Eagle River High School Art Teacher and Students Honor Healthcare Workers

nurse art

Portraits are displayed on easels for guests and Alaska Native Medical Center staff during an unveiling ceremony at ANMC on May 5, 2021. Portraits will be displayed temporarily until being delivered to the original healthcare worker who provided their "selfie". (Louis Velasco/ASD)

Anchorage School District student-artists presented portraits of local healthcare workers in a series of ceremonies at three hospitals around our community to celebrate National Nurses Week from May 6-12.

Requests to healthcare workers, nurses, and doctors to submit "selfies" started in December 2020. Local media helped spread Bera's message to get the word out.

teacher with art

Eagle River High School art teacher Jacob Bera displays an example portrait to a gathered crowd at Alaska Native Medical Center on May 5, 2021. (Louis Velasco/ASD)

Eagle River High School art teacher Jacob Bera explained that the project is meant to honor the work of healthcare workers and the sacrifices they make to keep the community safe. 

"Through it all, our healthcare workers have always been there. Risking their own health in an effort to keep each and every one of us safe. Working long hours to prevent the spread of this virus from day one by testing and caring for those who were impacted. Their expertise and sacrifice is something that’s easy to take for granted, until we need it the most," he said. 

nurses with art

Alaska Native Medical Center nurses and healthcare workers stand with their "selfie" portraits at ANMC on May 5, 2021. ANMC had the highest number of healthcare worker participants in the project. (Louis Velasco/ASD)

Secondary students from across the District chose to participate by selecting a selfie and creating a portrait using pencils, paint, or digital media. Elementary students also participated by creating thank you cards for healthcare workers.

art and card

Portraits and a thank you card are displayed on a table inside the patient housing building at Alaska Native Medical Center on May 5, 2021. The ceremony was coordinated to honor healthcare workers during National Nurses Week. (Louis Velasco/ASD)


The portraits all display a close visual of the healthcare workers’ face. The visual art pieces were delivered to healthcare workers at the Alaska Native Medical Center, Alaska Regional Hospital and Providence Alaska Medical Center and will be displayed in their buildings before being transfered to the owner.

The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center is currently hosting an online exhibition until June 30.