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Atlantic Cape Unveils Painting by Local Artist and Art Club Members Honoring Pandemic Frontline Healthcare Workers

05/12/2023 | Media Contact: David Zuba, Public Relations Manager and Copywriter | (609) 343-4933
Atlantic Cape President Dr. Barbara Gaba stands with nursing students in front of the newly-unveiled Resilience painting

MAYS LANDING — Atlantic Cape Community College and the Spangler Beautification Committee unveiled a painting honoring the selfless sacrifices and dedication to patient care by those in the healthcare field during the Coronavirus pandemic on May 11 at the entrance to the Nursing Department in K Building at the Mays Landing campus.

Atlantic Cape President Dr Barbara Gaba speaking at the Resilience painting unveiling“No one was prepared for the pandemic, but our nursing program, students and faculty rose to the challenge. Despite the difficulties you faced by trying to balance school work and your efforts on the front lines, it is with confidence that I say you are a nurse,” Atlantic Cape President Dr. Barbara Gaba said in recognizing the contributions made by the college’s healthcare community. “You may still have to take your exams and graduate, but your dedication and resiliency during those challenging times demonstrate your character, your commitment to your field, and most importantly, the devotion and dedication to the patients that you served. You are the future and there is no doubt that we are in very good hands.”

Titled “Resilience,” this work of art was inspired by local artist Nadaijia R. Hall, in collaboration with members of the college’s Art Club. It was funded by the William J. Spangler Beautification Fund and aptly named to signify the efforts made by so many members throughout the healthcare industry during the pandemic. “Resilience” contains elements that represent the characteristics that the artist Hall associated with the nursing community, their strength and compassion.

Dr Barbara Gaba, Artist Nadaijia Hall and members of Atlantic Cape's Art Club stand in front of the Resilience painting“This painting memorializes our appreciation and celebrates the nursing community, who delivered care for others at the risk of their own safety and well-being,” Director of Academic Support Services Janet Hauge said. “As many sheltered at home during the height of the pandemic, nurses, nursing students and nursing faculty stepped bravely into hospitals and vaccination centers, working tirelessly to administer care.”

In the painting’s foreground, the caduceus (the medical insignia) at the center of the painting embraces our planet, evoking a sign of global compassion and care. The lotus flowers at the bottom represent resilience and persistent growth while the bricks symbolize strength. Meanwhile, the yellow, orange, and gold colors emphasize positivity, wellbeing and happiness, as well portraying the bright and promising future we all face, thanks to the continuing success and achievements of our healthcare professionals.

Artist Nadaijia Hall speaks to those in attendance“Art has always been a passion of mine. The pandemic was extremely hard so I wanted to show my appreciation to all of our doctors and nurses here at Atlantic Cape Community College who took their time to help out in the community when they were needed most,” Hall said. “My inspiration with the world is that we are one, and the lotus flowers represent growth and power. Lotus flowers grow in dirt and mud so no matter where you come from you may always grow into a beautiful being.” 

“Resilience” was carefully built and created over 16 weeks during the Spring 2023 semester by Hall in collaboration with Art Club Advisor Katherine M. Aikens, and the wonderful support and artistic talents of Art Club members Bryant Cruz-Sanchez, Joseph Dennis, Tanvir Islam, Yvonne Liberto, Gennavieve Lisitski, and Nicholas Medal.

Gaba acknowledged the superior work that Atlantic Cape’s nursing professionals accomplish year after year in educating and graduating stellar healthcare students.

“Thank you to our nursing faculty and staff for preparing such a high-quality level of nurses that graduate from Atlantic Cape each year,” Gaba continued. “You too rose above and beyond during the pandemic, and our student’s strong caring spirit and resiliency is a reflection of you, as our faculty, who are dedicated to this field.”

Atlantic Cape Dean of Nursing and Health Services Myrna Morales-Keklak speaks to those in attendance at the Resilience painting unveilingThe painting’s debut coincided with National Nurses Week, which was celebrated from May 6-12.

“It requires resiliency to come back shift after shift, to do work that requires having to watch people suffer and sometimes die, but please understand that what we do in healthcare is also laced with wonder and sheer satisfaction too. To me, resiliency is the cornerstone of the human spirit,” Dean, Nursing and Health Sciences Myrna Morales-Keklak concluded.



About Atlantic Cape Community College

Atlantic Cape is a comprehensive two-year community college serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. The college offers over 40 career, transfer and workforce development programs to more than 8,000 students annually at three campuses in New Jersey: Atlantic City, Cape May Court House and Mays Landing.