HOPE in Reston, VA
Brooke Lewitas Fairfax County Times December 11, 2020
HOPE Comes to Reston Hospital
When Diane Canney asked her ninety-five-year-old mother what she wanted for her birthday, Phillis Leidtke told her that she only wanted her daughter to help others during the pandemic. Canney, a portraitist, and owner of multiple wineries took the challenge on.
What formed was a community-based art project to honor “those affected and to express feelings associated with the pandemic”. Canney began asking individuals to submit digital panels, incorporating those panels into quilts, and then displaying the quilts in an online gallery as well as movable public art.
Inspired by the AIDS quilt as well as other community art projects throughout American history, Canney began asking people she knew to submit panels with the goal of creating a transportable, affordable, historical project.
“We wanted to do create something that would both memorialize those who lost their lives and also honor front-line workers,” said Canney.
Phyllis Liedtke, Canney’s mother and a resident of Pompano Beach, Fla., said it’s been shocking to see the devastation created by the virus.
“I thought we’d seen it all,” she said. “I lost my grandfather to the flu in 1918. I’ve lived through the Depression, which was grim, and there was the smallpox scare in New York.”
“I have this personal plan to spread hope, in a time when things are so hopeless. That’s the last thing we have left, is hope.”