Contemporary artist WhIsBe has teamed up with friends at a Brooklyn-based 3D printing company to manufacture thousands of face shields for healthcare heroes working to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“It makes me happy to be part of [the art] community and help people out,” WhIsBe, known for his popular Vandal Gummy artwork, told Page Six on Thursday. “It’s been a really great experience having a greater sense of purpose.”
As of Friday, WhIsBe and 3D Brooklyn have delivered more than 4,160 face shields to 67 different hospitals.
“Immediate equipment was at a standstill … So 3D Brooklyn was ready to go pop up production to produce face shields to hold over medical workers in the area until larger organizations and bigger funding came through,” he said, adding that because he has a car, he’s been able to deliver 250 to 300 masks per day to those in need.
“They’re just extremely grateful. Anything for them to feel like they’re not the only ones in this fight goes a long way,” he told us. “It’s also been slightly terrifying going into the ERs and having one on one conversations about what’s really going on.”
While most of the shields are being delivered directly into the hands of doctors and nurses in New York and surrounding areas, the team has also shipped supplies across the country and overseas.
Along with delivering shields seven days a week, WhIsBe is also donating a portion of proceeds on his Blurple and Olive Green Vandal Gummy statues, which range from $700 to $3,000, to help fund the masks. So far, he has raised $5,000 for the cause through artwork sales, which is the cost of roughly 1,250 masks.
“Until we run out of money or until it’s not needed anymore it’s just the priority and seems like the right thing to do because of the capabilities we have,” he said.
Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals can directly request Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) face shields on a website set up by 3D Brooklyn. The site also allows people to donate money to production costs.
“It’s really unfortunate and backward that we’re in this predicament,” WhIsBe said. “It really is about community coming together to help each other out.”
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