A few weeks ago, the wife of artist Ron English sent our family colorful face masks to help make it through the pandemic. She started making the masks to help her niece, a nurse who desperately needed them, and then started sending them out to friends and family. She wanted to do her part to help bend the curve. Now her family wants to do more.
As Ron explained in a statement, “Like everyone in the world, my family has been affected by this pandemic. I came down with symptoms in early March, and while I didn’t require drastic measures, I have had to reevaluate my activities and expectations to adjust for damaged lung capacity. That means no more spraypaint for now, and it’s possible that I may never paint another public mural. While that’s sad and disappointing to me personally, it doesn’t compare with the staggering loss of life and livelihood that humanity is experiencing right now.”
He continues, “During the early days of quarantine, my wife started a mask-making campaign for first responders, family and friends, using a stash of cotton fabric that she, like many sewers, had around the house. After her stash ran out, she started cutting up some of my custom-designed PopLife Popaganda cotton shirts, and made and mailed out more than 300 cotton Covid masks to nursing homes, our local post office, grocery clerks, and anyone who asked. She has no more fabric left. That’s why I’m proud to team up with Threadless to scale up our mask campaign, with dozens of designs and a purchase price that goes directly to MedShare, a charity that sources proper equipment to first responders.”
MedShare is a humanitarian aid organization that sources and directly delivers surplus medical supplies and equipment to communities in need around the world. At the time of this post, the organization has already donated more than $1.3 million in Covid-19 related aid, including millions of masks and a quarter million isolated gowns. Your purchase of a Ron English face mask helps increase those aid numbers.
English produced more than two dozen different designs that include popular characters from his visual universe, like Punk Skunk, Elefanka and Rabbbit. The face masks are available here for $17 each. Buy several if you can.
“Face masks are here to stay. This is the new normal,” Ron added. “If we have to hide our faces, we might as well display our intentions.”