Local Campbell River pharmacy has been honoured by accomplished Vancouver visual artist and muralist Gina Leon.
Leon, a Vancouver-based impressionist has chosen Joe’s Pharmacy of Campbell River to be a recipient of one of five paintings as her way of giving back to front line health care and support workers.
“To our front line heroes at Joe’s Pharmacy, Thank you for making the world a better place by continuing to do what you do despite the daily risks and challenges.” She said. “I am grateful to you, we all are, this piece is to thank you.”
Joe’s Pharmacy, at the height of the initial wave of the pandemic, was nominated for their work in the community. Joe Myers, owner of the pharmacy, is a regular volunteer at the Campbell River Food Bank. During the national shortage of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, Myers compounded the product donating proceeds to the local food bank. He helped support locally-owned restaurants by treating his staff to lunch each week.
By launching a gift card giveaway he supported needy families in Campbell River who had been directly affected by COVID-19 layoffs with hundreds of dollars of gift cards to Quality Foods. He accomplished this while carefully managing numerous drug shortages, increasing free home deliveries and ensuring social distancing for immunocompromised and vulnerable patients.
Leon, born in Johannesburg, South Africa, studied Theatre and Art History at the University of Toronto, Visual Art at the College of Art and Design in Sydney, Australia and Acting at the New School for Drama in New York City. Her abstract paintings have been showcased in Vancouver and New York (The William Bennett Gallery and The Rockefeller Center).
She launched her initiative in April as the pandemic began to grip British Columbia, stretching community health care resources and causing unrelenting pressure on the province’s medical professionals and support staff.
“This is an incredible heartwarming gesture,” said a staff member of Joe’s Pharmacy. “Thank you for thinking of all of us. It’s been a very difficult time for everyone – especially when you are unable to see your friends and family.
“Gina has helped bring some light to us all.”
You can see Leon’s painting on display at Joe’s Pharmacy, and check her other works at ginaleon.weebly.com