Carolyn Olson is a narrative artist working and living in northern Minnesota. She intends her art to inspire us to be better people as we become more aware of ourselves and the world around us.Beginning with the “Stay at Home order” in March 2020, Carolyn has worked on a series of pastel portraits of essential workers. She watched and listened to stories about the effect of Covid-19 on communities and families. Her two adult children work as essential workers. This pastel work provided her with an outlet for her anxiety about her family members working as essential workers. Many worked unvaccinated – at huge risk of getting sick and/or dying. It seemed society was OK with some being sacrificed. The art begs the question “how can we ask the essential worker to do this work while not being paid enough, provided no health insurance or affordable housing?” The series continues to initiate conversations between people who have only met online and are asking what it takes to bring about systemic changes in society.

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