KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The COVID-19 Commemoration Commission has begun accepting design proposals from artists for a sculpture that will become the centerpiece of a memorial garden in Ulster County. The request for artist designs is open through November 15.

The sculpture and memorial garden at the fairgrounds will commemorate the sacrifices and strength of the community during the pandemic. The project, planned for a spring installation at the Ulster County Fairground complex, is to be a space for rest and reflection with interpretive signage linked to a comprehensive website that will feature the stories of front-line workers and other members of the community. 

Ulster County Legislative Chair Tracey Bartels states, “Art can inspire and comfort us. Art also helps us express gratitude during difficult times,” “The Legislature joins with the Executive to ask our local artists and students to share their vision for a memorial that will honor the lives lost in our communities and the heroic efforts of frontline workers who protected and served our most vulnerable residents during the pandemic.” Chair Bartels adds, “We hope this memorial will not only be a place of solace and healing but will also celebrate how we cared for one another during a worldwide health emergency.”

The commission, made up of front-line workers ranging from nurses, EMS responders, and teachers, to food service, police officers, and other essential workers, was established in March of 2022 by former County Executive Pat Ryan. Estela Woych of NYSNA commented, “This is in memory and dedicated to the best among us in Ulster County, the front line workers who lost their lives to COVID-19 working in selfless service to all.” 

Designs can be submitted by mail or in person to the Office of the Ulster County Executive at 244 Fair Street, Kingston NY 12401, or through the Ulster County COVID-19 website. For more information, call 845-340-3800.