Student’s COVID-inspired artwork selected for magazine cover

Middletown Area School District  |  Posted on

Sophomore’s COVID-inspired artwork selected for magazine cover

During the height of the coronavirus shutdown in the spring of 2020, Middletown Area High School art teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Strite, challenged her students to use their thoughts about the pandemic to create a social commentary piece with a strong visual statement. Sophomore Jessica Matincheck chose to honor health care workers with her version of the famous “Rosie the Riveter” poster. Jess’s version of Rosie is Mexican with coal-black hair, dark eyes and brown skin. She is wearing a mask and gloves, and sporting a stethoscope.

“I chose to make her Mexican because my grandmother is of Mexican descent on her father’s side. I also made her a nurse because of their importance during this struggling time. I sketched her out in about 25 to 30 minutes and painted her within two days.” The end result was a stunning acrylic painting showing the strength and courage of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The painting was featured on Penn State’s Viral Imaginations: COVID-19 Project and was printed on T-shirts for nurses to purchase.

In December 2020, the editors of The State College Magazine in State College were developing a story about the healing power of art. In their research, they came across Penn State’s Viral Imaginations Gallery and Jess’s unique Rosie caught their attention. They contacted Jess about using her artwork for the article. Not only did they want to use Jess’s artwork, it was selected for the front cover of the magazine.