FORT BELVOIR, Va. (August 4, 2021)— Two new pieces of art created by the U. S. Army Artist in Residence, Sgt. 1st Class Curt Loter, were unveiled Wednesday August 4 during a ceremony at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. The artwork depicts scenes of Army Medical Soldiers responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
“These pictures are a tribute to the front line workers for the hard work that they have been doing for almost two years” said Loter.
The paintings were created by Loter based on photographs taken during the height of the Pandemic in the spring of 2020 at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.
One of the paintings shows an Army nurse preparing to enter a COVID-19 positive room to treat patients. The other painting shows an Army Chaplain blessing the surgical glove protected hands of an Army nurse with oil, an annual tradition at the hospital during National Nurses week.
Loter pointed out that, “Trying to communicate in a fashion that tells a story is extremely difficult with an invisible enemy, so I had to find situations and circumstances we saw at the hospital.”
Hosting the unveiling ceremony was Navy Captain Cynthia Judy, the Director of the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. She said, “Both paintings are so beautiful. We are honored to have our staff featured here. They capture our staff and some key elements of our mission in one of the hardest times in our history.”
Judy pointed out the uniqueness of the COVID-19 situation, “This is the first time in my career where we went from where medical was the supporting element for missions to where medical became the supported element.”
Reflecting on her more than 20 years’ experience as a nurse, Judy was impressed with the authenticity of the painting of the nurse preparing to go into the COVID-19 positive room. “The picture not only captures the human component but captures all the layering elements of going into the room and the rigor of the situation.”
She was equally impressed with the blessing of hands painting for its realism and showing how the healing process included more than just the medical teams. “It speaks to the amount of faith that it took to get through the pandemic and the role the Chaplains played in the delivery of care.” Judy said.
The paintings will remain on display at the hospital in the Oaks Pavilion Atrium, one of the busiest parts of the hospital, for at least the next four months. They will eventually be transferred to the National Museum of the United States Army. “I’m honored to have such a prominent position to showcase my artwork” said Loter.
Army artists were first commissioned by the Army during World War I with over 12,000 pieces of art developed since then. The Army Artist-in-Residence program is assigned to the Center of Military History’s Army Museum Enterprise.