HOLD THE LINE 2020
A collaboration between artists Beti Kristof and A.D. Cook.
It was the first week of March 2020 when we found our elderly friend on the floor of his home.
Within minutes, we called 911, and an ambulance arrived, whisking him away to the nearest hospital in Las Vegas. In fact, it was the first COVD19 hospital in the valley.
"Did you touch him?" asked one of the paramedics.
"Of course! I held his head to give him water."
The police and paramedics all took a noticeable step backward.
That's when I had a strange inkling that something was not right.
After that, A.D. and I visited our friend at the hospital every day. We watched as it geared up for more COVID patients.
Nurses and doctors buzzed around as we would visit our fiend, the staff was always gracious and helpful. Wearing a mask was becoming a thing.
After visiting each day for a week, a doctor stopped us in the corridor on the third floor. He had the whole ensemble of the mask, head visor, gloves, and gown.
"Why are you here? He asked us.
We told him we were visiting our friend. He strongly suggested we stay away from the hospital under these new circumstances. It wasn't a natural choice on our part. The next day, visitors weren't allowed into the hospital; it seemed a difficult decision was taken out of our hands. We instead self quarantined for two weeks, which then became three, four…and you know the rest.
Things started escalating across the country. New York became the epicenter of this craziness.
Is this just a terrible movie? Will tomorrow reset everything to how it was? One could only hope, but each morning brought with it more plight for humankind.
#StayHomeNevada became a hashtag as casinos closed, making the Strip a ghost town. Eerie? Yes. We had to drive and witness it for ourselves!
We watched online as first responders, nurses, and doctors all across the world give first-hand accounts of day after day being on the front line, exhausted and down-hearted. The infection spiral seems to be winding up, and its trajectory escalating.
Staying home isn't new for us, as artists, writers, and for A.D. as a website developer, we're home a lot. As artists, wanting to create something that embodied what is happening in this world around us is more than compelling. It was imperative!
Nurses I have known through the years came to mind. The nurses on the oncology floor at the children's hospital, the nurse who took care of my mother last month, and a particular doctor. Especially a specific local E.R. doctor. Her beautiful self, tenacious spirit, and kind demeanor came to mind when the vision for this painting surfaced in my consciousness. I held my interpretation of what she meant to me in the forefront of my thoughts while painting.
Uniting great efforts for a common cause usually results in even greater outcomes.
This painting collaboration with A.D. is a natural progression of two artists combining their creative efforts. We have painted murals together, body painted heads of cancer patients together, written a book, even created a newspaper and a screenplay together. Many times we do things to helps others achieve their dreams and desires.
This painting was a vision and an effort to create something as two become one with purpose. Using a water-soluble medium rather than an oil or petroleum soluble base was also planned. I imagined A.D. adding his unique flair with the airbrush, just a little here and there. We worked on different parts of the painting for the last twenty-one hours until completion.
For me, this painting represents a moment in our society, our world society, a time when nations of people came together for a higher purpose, taking action for a common cause. And we are still learning and fighting forward.
This painting is not about one person, an eye color, or one gender, or another, what it is about; the emotion this painting evokes in the viewer. Think about what you feel.
HOLD THE LINE, depicts the epitome of those warrior heroes, who faced this invisible and shape-shifting enemy.
It's all about the collective essence of those who go above and beyond for others.
To those who have inspired the best in others and to those who have given the best of themselves. You will be remembered for your selfless acts in making a difference in the world for good.
God Bless and Thank You For All You Do.
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Read A.D.'s story at ADCook.com/hold-the-line-collaborative-artwork