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April 13th - Jerelyn Botkin
Title: Howl for Missoula 2020
Platform: 10" x 10" Acrylic Painting
Missoula, Montana

Howl for Missoula / Covid 19 Inspired Painting by Jerelyn Botkin

WHY:
I work at a community hospital
and the constantly changing data on the pandemic --
the guidance, processes, training and decisions --
has been overwhelming at times.
I see the worry in people’s eyes
and feel the goodness in their hearts
as we walk through the halls together. 
I also am raising teenage boys
who can no longer go to school
and are struggling
to find a new rhythm
while they navigate remote learning,
socializing, and caring for themselves
at home
while my husband and I are gone
to work all day.

I learned from a friend on Facebook
about the nightly “Howl for Missoula” campaign
--  a movement to give vocal support
to healthcare and essential workers
during the Stay-At-Home orders
.
 

The first time I stepped outside
and listened to the howling throughout the valley
it made me smile, and,
although I am very reserved,
I let out a howl
and joined my neighbors in solidarity. 
I was immediately struck by how good it felt
to release some pressure
and be part of my community.

Since then,
I’ve tried to join the howl each night at 8 pm.
I’ve also been using art
for stress relief and coping.
Keeping my hands busy and creative juices flowing
I can stay in the moment,
rather than worrying about the things
I cannot control.
 

----

About My Art:
I created “HOWL for Missoula 2020” during a cold Covid-19 Stay-At-Home weekend. Hearing people howl in the Valley, I envisioned wildlife joining the conversation. Using a rough sketch and acrylic paint, I started with the landscape and larger wolf. I kept building up layers of color and texture, and added the town buildings using an impressionist style and finished with some pen and ink details.




I posted my art to the HOWL for Missoula Facebook Group and was overwhelmed with more than 1000 reactions and printing requests. Thus was born an opportunity to support my hospital co-workers with financial help. I've joined an artists' group and set up an online shop to sell prints, shirts and other items with 100% of the profits donated to the LifeCare Disaster Recovery Fund. Stay tuned!







HOWL FOR MISSOULA
PBS NewsHour
These appreciative neighbors howl for health care workers


Play Montana PBS Video (4/23/20 Airdate)


PBS News Hour showcases the people howling for
health care and essential workers during the Covid-19
Shelter in Place in Missoula, Montana.
Every evening, people step outside to howl.
Often their dogs join in. No wonder
our Artist Jerelyn wondered what the wildlife were thinking.

- GSW


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