R.I. Angel of Hope and Strength

April 27, 2020

I spent a significant eight years of my life living in Providence, Rhode Island, attending the Rhode Island School of Design, and (semi)establishing my first print studio, so it was an honor when R.I. Governor Gina Raimondo reached out to me to create an image to lift the spirits of Rhode Islanders whose lives have been disrupted by the Coronavirus crisis. Governor Raimondo and I discussed the industrial history and working class roots blue-collar fabric of Rhode Island, the iconic ‘Rosie the Riveter’ factory worker image, the stresses this virus has added to the lives of every Rhode Islander and the strength and bravery displayed by healthcare and public safety workers. Governor Raimondo also reminded me that the R.I. state motto is ‘Hope’ something we all need at this time. With all of those things in mind I created this art piece, “R.I. Angel of Hope and Strength” that is meant to both celebrate the courage of healthcare workers specifically, and generally symbolize the spirit of hope, strength, compassion, and resilience that we can all summon in ourselves and share collectively. It’s a tough time even for tough people, but we will all fare better if we summon the better angels of our nature.⁠ This image was originally created for the people of Rhode Island to instill hope and boost the community morale. Since then, I created an alternate design that was created for a global audience as well while the governor’s office planned to launch the RIArts.org site to keep the creative community connected. I’m happy that this launched this weekend! -Shepard⁠