April 15, 2020 – While we all attempt to figure out our “new normal” during these unprecedented times, one thing has remained— the kindness of the human spirit.

Four artists from the Ohio Chalk Art Guild reminded us of that when they created colorful murals at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The murals pay tribute to the relentless, smart, compassionate people battling COVID-19 for the health and safety of our community.

The artists volunteered their time, talent and supplies to create four stunning designs on the west side of the 12th Avenue garage, near the bus depot to the staff entrance of the hospital. This walkway is a popular path for countless hospital workers throughout the day. The artists worked 14 hours a day in the cold, completing the murals in just two days.

The artwork explores characteristics of the Buckeye Spirit. “Relentless” honors staff supporting health care professionals. “Smart” is a nod to researchers. “Compassionate” acknowledges front line workers. The collection ends with a final message: “The Buckeye spirit is alive in all of us.”

Get to know the artists and their work:

Relentless ff


Rhonda Bartoe is a flight attendant who jumped into creating her sketch after being travel-bound for more than a month. Her “Relentless” drawing pays tribute to custodial and nutrition services. Bartoe believes in the importance of representing behind-the-scenes staff as much as front-line staff.



Jan Solari created the “Smart” image as a close-up of a researcher’s face.  Her piece makes the viewer feel as though they are connecting with the researcher. “Simple is good, and usually people like big heads!” Solari says of her approach.



Sheryl Lazenby is one of the founders of the Ohio Chalk Art Guild. Her “Compassionate” piece depicts a nurse with the “Curve” and COVID-19 in the background. Lazenby has had her work featured at the Columbus Museum of Art and the Columbus Arts Festival.


Buckeye Spirit

Kellyn Donnelly is a local lettering artist from Westerville with a freestyle, whimsical style. She has not worked in large-scale chalk before, but immediately agreed to help. Donnelly created the inspirational piece that brings all the others together with the message: “The Buckeye spirit is alive in all of us.”

How you can help

Donate and More

Donate by phone or online, drop off supplies and other ways to help

Give by Mail

The James/Wexner Medical Center Development Office
c/o The OSU Foundation
PO Box 710811
Columbus, OH 43271-0811