Artwork / Lifesavers Fan Art

Yoda says “wear a mask, you must” Moana and Maui wearing masks for COVID SpongeBob SafetyPants wears a mask Rainbow Dash ready for the pandemic, fan art by Gwenn Seemel Princess Poppy pinky swears to wear a mask Groot loves COVD masks Spidervers characters during a pandemic “Why would’t you wear a mask to protect moi?” says Miss Piggy PJ Masks thinks you should wear a mask Elsa fan art don’t Pik-achoo on Pika-me Dora and Boots fan art painting by Gwenn Seemel Doc McStuffins wants you to wear a mask, orginal art by feminist artist Gwenn Seemel Black Panther and Shuri wear masks C is for COVID, Cookie Monster Ursula the Sea Witch wears a mask Harry Potter painting by Gwenn Seemel Lisa Simpson is ready for COVID-19

The inspiration for this series is a specific moment in US history, a moment that felt as though it would never end: the peak of COVID-19 in the fall of 2020, when masks were our only protection against the virus and the 45th president was doing everything in his power to discourage their use. From the vantage point of the vaccinated present, it may be difficult to recall just how powerless many of us felt in that moment, but these images stand as a memorial to that experience.

Before the pandemic, I’d never had much respect for fan art, but, by the summer of 2020, I saw Yoda and his pop culture brethren as our only hope. The way I figured it, these characters could reconnect us to each other, because, if you know who Yoda is and I know about him too, then it feels a bit like we know each other. Adding a blue surgical mask to that communal energy made these characters the perfect vehicle to promote both the healthy behavior and the sense of civic responsibility necessary for surviving a highly contagious deadly airborne virus.

masked up fan art by Cathy Hasty masked up fan art by Liz Wuillermin masked up fan art by Luis Alves masked up fan art by Chris Rae masked up fan art by Pat Krishnamurthy masked up fan art by Diana Bukowski

Though creating my own Lifesavers Fan Art pieces taught me a thing or two about myself and my fellow humans, my favorite part of the project by far are the contributions of Luis Alves, Diana Bukowski, Cathy Hasty, Pat Krishnamurthy, Chris Rae, and Liz Wuillermin, whose works are displayed above!

Gwenn Seemel in the Asbury Park Press
screenshot of the Asbury Park Press

The Lifesavers Fan Art initiative earned write-ups in The Press of Atlantic City, South Jersey Magazine, and the Asbury Park Press.