DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – You might not think painters and sculptors could offer much help protecting society from COVID-19.
But a group of them in Dallas has found a way to combine their talents and make something that’s in desperate need: face shields.
Stephen Fucile’s artwork should be on display and for sale at festivals this time of year.
But with all of them canceled, his beautiful art instead hangs in storage.
Yeah, it is a hardship,” said Fucile. “You know I was expecting to do a good 20 to 30% of my living over the next month.”
Fucile works out of the ACME Creation Lab near Downtown Dallas.
It’s a 9,000 square foot community workspace for artists and inventors who now have nothing but time on their hands and a strong desire to help those combatting COVID-19.
They came up with the idea to build face shields for health care workers and first responders using some of the same supplies and tools they also use to make art.
“We’re creators and we’re makers of something out of nothing and, you know, in the middle of this crisis we’ve learned to use our creative energy to do something positive,” he said.
“It’s good to have something to do in quarantine,” said ACME Creation Lab owner Ian Thorburn. “Haven’t been real productive in the last week and a half or so. It’s nice to be able to do something that’s making a difference.”
Several artists have been working at Thorburn’s lab nonstop, only limited by a shortage of supplies and a need for better machinery.
The artists are able to produce about 12 face shields an hour, but if someone donated an industrial press and plastic, they say they could make at least 1,000 an hour.
The biggest hurdle right now is finding .02 polycarbonate sheets, in which to make these out of.
There’s a nationwide shortage right now so they are also looking at using acrylic.
One hundred face shields made here will be sent to a hospital in California.
There are plans to offer many more to local medical centers and first responders if needed.
You could say these face shields are works of art and someday may be considered priceless.
Anyone interested in donating materials can click here.