College student honors essential food workers through artwork

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — A Wofford College art student created an art collection to honor essential workers on campus for their resilience during the pandemic.

Donelle Finch, retail supervisor at Wofford College, has worked in food service on Wofford College’s campus for the past 5 years. Finch said during the pandemic, she had a tough time handling limited contact and the students she adores.

“We’re the second parents to some of these kids. Some of them are from other countries and states across the U.S. We’re mom and dad when they’re in here,” Finch said.

Finch said especially one student who visits the dining hall multiple times a week, Walker Antonio, a junior art student at the college.

“I saw all these workers every single day and being kind and being polite every day. It led to conversations and friendship,” Antonio said.

A reason why when Antonio was assigned a class project last year where he was tasked with creating an art piece that captures everyday life, he decided to dedicate his project to Finch and her team.

“I wanted to make it a little bit more deeper than just a still life and I wanted to interact with the people who I see everyday and are taking care of me here on campus away from home…”

Walker painted four colorful portraits to honor the food workers in the dining hall who he felt were under appreciated.

“We’re just glad that we’re able to take care of them and it’s not only just nutritional wise, we’re here for them emotionally. They talk to us and let us know what’s going on in their lives,” Finch said.

Walker gifted the paintings to the school and they’re expected to hang on the walls of the dining hall for years to come.

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