Artist puts masks on animal statues at UVA Children’s Hospital

Artist puts masks on animal statues at UVA Children’s Hospital

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Wearing a mask outside is now a new normal for millions of people because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, an art project at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital is using that “new normal” to bring a smile to those passing by.

Some of the sculptures outside of the Battle Building are now masked up, matching nearly everyone inside, according to UVA Health System Spokesperson Eric Swensen.

"We’re doing universal masking still inside the hospital. I guess somebody thought it would be good to have the have the statues match that, too,” Swensen said.

The sculptures depicting a flock of geese, a rabbit, a turtle, a bear, and a fox are all now wearing hand-knitted personal protective equipment. The person who made the masks and put them on the statues wants to remain anonymous, but says they hope the craft and activism bring a smile to the faces of those inside.

“I was really hoping that when people came to work they would see it and it would give them some joy,” the artist said.

“Anything that boosts people’s spirits or makes people smile is a great thing,” Swensen said. “I think especially with those statues in front of the Battle Building, and that’s what really they’re there for in the first place, is to give the kids as they come in for their appointment something to laugh at.”

The artist said they hope that the people passing by, whether or not they are going to the hospital, remember the importance of wearing a mask when they are outside.

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