North Dakota COVID Portrait Project Seeking Artists & Families Of Those Lost To COVID-19

To honor lives lost to COVID-19, an area artist created a plan to support both artists and families who lost a loved one to the disease.

Over 100 people in the MonDak area have died from COVID-19 related complications and Daphne Clark saw a need to remember each of those community members with a portrait, creating “The North Dakota COVID Portrait” Project. 

The project is where artists complete a portrait of someone who was lost to COVID-19. Artists will receive a $100 stipend for each 11” x 14” framed portrait they complete. One portrait will be painted of a person lost from Divide, McKenzie, Mountrail, or Williams counties. The family will then receive the artwork after it is showcased at a memorial service or community show. 

Clark hopes to host community shows at each county to bring community members and families of the loved ones lost to COVID together. She said, “Due to restrictions on gatherings during the pandemic many did not have a celebration of life for family and friends to gather and mourn those they lost. Community shows like this would really honor their memories.”

Clark has a day job working in public health and is also a part time artist, so combining both art and health together into one project was easy for her. 

She said, “We have been doing a lot of the testing and vaccinating and I just feel like things get lost between that and numbers/percentages, so I really wanted to put a face to those people that were lost and make sure that they are not just a number.” 

Clark received a grant from the John and Elaine Andrist Charitable Trust, which helps provide a stipend for the artists. The program is also made possible by support from Williston Area Visual Artists, the Long X Visitor’s Center, and numerous developing partnerships.

The North Dakota COVID Portrait Project application process will wrap up at the end of January - this will allow the artists two months to complete the portraits. 

If you’d like a portrait painted or are an artist who would like to help, contact Clark at 701-651-3424 or email [email protected], or pick up registration forms at Long X Visitor’s Center. 


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