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Ballston chalk murals honor those working through pandemic

A local artist is creating special artwork to thank the front-line workers of the coronavirus pandemic.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The coronavirus pandemic is still far from over, especially for the essential workers who have kept things running for the last few months. 

Patrick Owens is a local artist who was hired to honor some of these hometown heroes in Ballston. Ballston's Business Improvement District commissioned the work that will continue over the next few weeks. 

Owens draws lifelike images of real people with chalk. His first piece was of a janitor in the Randolph Towers Apartment Building. Murals of a nurse and Metro bus driver are still to come. 

"It's been really great to be able to do something to make people smile or just feel a tiny bit better during this horrible time," Owens said.

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During the pandemic, Owens has worked on other projects in the area, sending messages of hope to residents and essential workers. 

Credit: Patrick Owens

Owens' first mural has already washed away after last week's storms. 

"It's the impermanence of it all. All it takes is a couple people walking over it and it's gone. It's so impermanent, so in a sense, it's very fragile," he said.

That impermanence serves as a reminder that even this difficult time will one day be behind us.

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