(One of Canada’s largest tribute murals to frontline healthcare workers after it was completed by artist David Derkatz, aka Derkz, located on an outdoor wall at the Penalty Box Restaurant in Windsor, Ont., From left Jamie Osborn, David Derkatz, Van Niforos, and Dr. Eli Malus. Featured photo courtesy of Morgan Malewicz.)
With international, national and local murals to his credit, artist David Derkatz, aka Derkz, recently completed one of Canada’s largest murals in tribute to frontline healthcare workers during this COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring a local doctor and nurse, the mural is painted on the south outside wall of The Penalty Box Restaurant at the intersection of Tecumseh Road East and Walker Road in Windsor, Ont. Derkz took some to speak with Eyes On Windsor while he was painting the mural.
How did this mural come to be?
Obviously, we’re in a global pandemic and I wanted to give back to the community and the only way I knew how is through street art. It’s kind of my only voice.
Second to that I wanted to do something because I have friends and family that are doctors and nurses. My mom has been a nurse at Met right around the corner for 40 years. I have close friends and relatives in the states. My sister in Ann Arbor Michigan, she is on the frontlines, my brother in law who is her husband is also on the frontlines as well. I kind of wanted to do something for the healthcare frontline workers of the city. This is the first one of many that I want to do. This one is focused on healthcare. For the next one, I want to focus on police or firefighters.
How responsive were The Penalty Box owners to the mural being painted on their building?
The people there like Van and Nick Niforos, they’re great, I pitched the idea that I wanted to donate this to them. They were more than willing to provide all the supplies, which they didn’t have to do. They were very generous with that.
Who are the people depicted in the mural?
The people on the wall are local, one is a doctor and one is a nurse. Dr. Eli Malus is in the COVID Relief Unit and he practices around the Windsor Essex and London area. On the other side of the mural is Jamie Osborn, she is a nurse at Met and she works at the field hub. She was working at the field hospital when COVID hit hard. She used to actually work at The Penalty Box, so it was only fitting we put her up there too.
I noticed you use flowers or roses in a lot of your murals including this one. Is there a reason for that?
I just like doing floral stuff, it’s nothing specific. Windsor is obviously the rose city so I like to implement that a lot.
In addition to paying tribute to frontline workers, I understand your mural will help in another way. Can you tell me more about that?
We’re doing a print release of the mural. So anybody who is interested in supporting me or the COVID Relief Unit can purchase one. 50% will go directly to the COVID Relief Foundation. You’ll be able to buy them online or directly through me, they’ll also be sold at the restaurant. People who buy a print can hang it in their home to show some support.
Featured Photo by Morgan Malewicz
Morgan Malewicz aka Morgan Ryan, is a mother of twins and a local media personality currently with Windsor’s Country 95.9FM & 92.7FM with a passion for entertainment and her community. Follow Morgan on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.