Sarasota artist paints mural honoring those on front line of COVID-19

At 1717 2nd Street in Sarasota drivers are stopping for more than just the stop signs. 

They're pulling over to snap photos of a mural on the front of Raw Sugar Living. The mural of gratitude came from the mind of Karen Chandler. 

"This just came pouring out very quickly,” Chandler said. “We wanted to give back to first responders.” 

A community tribute organized by Sarasota Magazine and the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota. PPG Paints, The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime, The Helming and Knies Family Foundation, and Elizabeth and Elliot Rose sponsored the mural. 

It's in honor of the men and women on the front line of the COVID-19 fight. 

"We feel like they are our heroes,” Chandler said. “They are looking up and looking strong because they’re strong in taking care of everything.”

An act that continues today and one they wanted to capture. 

"These people in the healthcare industry have stayed with us all that time and they have really helped us all to endure all the things that we have been going through," said Jim Shirley. 

Shirley is the Executive Director for the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota. 

They’ll host a ribbon-cutting for the mural Friday at 4 p.m. It'll take place virtually on Facebook live from Sarasota Magazine and the Arts Alliance. 

"People can come by all they want and take as many pictures as they want and pose with it," he said. 

The mural of gratitude shares a simple message of thanks. 

"I really get emotional about it because it’s from the bottom of our hearts and we really mean this," said Chandler. 

To see more of Karen Chandler's art visit:

She's also located at the Bazaar on Apricot and Lime located at 821 Apricot Avenue, Sarasota FL 34237