PORTLAND, Maine — From National Guard flyovers to banging pots and pans in a show of support, there have been a lot of people rallying around Maine's nurses. Amanda Hard has always been better at expressing support through art.
We first met Hard a little more than a year ago. She's the creator behind Penny Prints; a series of girls she paints to represent strong women she's met along the way. Her "girls" were designed to empower others, and her designs are transferred onto pillows, coffee mugs, and backpacks.
Her painting, "Survivor Girl" is what caught our eyes last year. It was based on a good friend, who had just come through the other side of a terrifying breast cancer battle. Proceeds from those images went to organizations that support women through their cancer diagnosis.
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Now, Hard has painted a new girl to represent those facing this new battle with COVID-19: Nurse Girl. "They're in a dangerous environment. A scary setting, a sad setting, dealing with not being able to go home to their families or their friends. It's kind of like they're going to war," says Hard, who talked with some friends in healthcare for some inspiration. "I wanted the medical staff to have something empowering, and something that reminds them of everything they're going through, with a nice bag or a nice coffee mug, or a little notebook to remind them that reminds them that, you're a nurse girl. You dedicate your life to saving other people, you dedicate your time, your energy, it's such a selfless act."
Proceeds from the "Nurse Girl" collection Hard is selling at Penny Prints will be donated to the American Nurses Foundation to help fund supplies for medical staff. "I hope that they can carry a bag, or start their day with the coffee mug and think, yeah that's me. I'm that girl and she rocks. I just want to bring that empowerment to people, that it's okay to be who you are anytime, anywhere."
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