Austin photographer’s giant portraits honor female essential workers

The Austin photographer honors important workers with huge portraits

Photographer Sarah Wilson honors women who are important workers by taking huge portraits of them and posting them across town. Amanda Ruiz of FOX 7 Austin thinks the portraits are meant to highlight those who risked their lives to keep the community safe and healthy during the pandemic.

Austin photographer Sarah Wilson honors women who are important workers by taking huge portraits of them and posting them around town. The portraits are designed to highlight those who risked their lives to keep the community safe and healthy during the pandemic.

The 20 foot tall wheat paste photos can be found scattered across town. Wilson says, “There are several large pieces of paper that are puzzle pieces that are put together on the wall and then glued with wallpaper glue.”

“I wanted the size of these pictures to reflect the respect I have for the work these women are doing to help our community stay safe and strong,” adds Wilson.

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Each of the portraits shows a real woman who works as an essential worker in Austin.

Wilson says she got the idea to honor the women at the start of the pandemic. “I thought of all the other people, all the other women who were seen as essential workers, and just the risk they take on a daily basis,” says Wilson.

One of the featured employees is Keyanna, who works for Community Care and is a nursing student at Austin Community College. Keyanna says it’s an honor to be able to do something she loves to do and have it posted there for people to see.

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Wilson says she photographed 15 key workers, from healthcare workers to teachers to embalmers. She says she plans large-format portraits of all the women she has photographed and has done eight so far.

“Sometimes these women are in jobs that are kind of overlooked. And I just wanted them to stand out so the public could see them in their daily lives,” says Wilson. “I hope these large-format portraits can help people remember them and keep them on their minds.”

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