Local artists use exhibit to help ease COVID-19 vaccine concerns

Art for Vaccinations
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 23, 2022 at 7:15 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - More than a million Nebraskans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to DHHS.

For some people, concerns about the shot’s safety still exist, but a local group is using artwork to curb vaccine hesitation.

Artists throughout the state and some from other states want to use their artwork to ease vaccination concerns.

Forty-six posters total will be on display in the Nebraska State Capitol. Each of them has their own unique message about COVID-19 vaccines.

“We wanted some of them to make it seem getting vaccinated is cool and to keep repeating that message,” Bob Hall, one of the artists said.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Hall helped to create a weekly comic, explaining COVID-19 to kids.

He used different characters that he felt would be relatable.

He wanted to do something similar with the exhibit.

“A goat, a mouse and a bat, I know those are on display here. And we did one that was the Omicron virus itself,” Hall said. “These were all characters that had appeared in our other comic and we said let’s use those guys again.”

This week, half of the posters are being shown in the exhibit. The other half will be put on display next week.

Worlds of Connections is the group that started the exhibit. They got a $54,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to pay the artists and pay for the posters.

“We do not want people to feel defensive. We do not want people to feel bad,” Julia McQuillan from Worlds of Connections said. “We’re hoping people will reflect, have a little humor, or have a little insight. We are hoping to give people a lot of reasons to choose to vaccinate. It is a powerful public health message.

Also, it is a message they want to spread.

They are hoping to put the posters in other locations besides the Capitol.

“I’m hoping that these get distributed enough that there will be some areas that we just can’t get feedback,” Hall said. “We just have to hope that people saw it.”

The display runs until next Friday. The artwork will be placed on their website after the exhibit. They are also planning to use all 46 posters to create a comic book.

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