WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor artist David Derkatz, aka ‘DERKZ’, has completed his massive tribute mural to frontline healthcare workers.

The artwork was painted on the north-side exterior wall of popular local eatery, The Penalty Box — the space happily donated by the owner, Van Niforos.

“My gratitude — this man showed up out of nowhere, expecting nothing in return, just want(ing) to thank frontline workers — and that’s all we had in mind,” said Niforos.

It has taken weeks of planning coordination and effort to complete the artwork. In addition, the dry weather over the past few weeks helped the artist tackle the enormous project.

For Derkatz, his goal from the beginning was to share his artistic vision as a gift to the community and especially draw attention to those who put their lives as risk to save so many.

Depicted in the piece, in a profile perspective, are two real-life healthcare professionals: registered nurse Jamie Osborn and physician, Dr. Eli Malus.

“(It’s) nice to feel the recognition for how hard each and every individual frontline worker has been working during this pandemic,” said Osborn.

“I think it’s incredible, it’s a stunning piece of artwork,” said Malus. “David’s done an incredible job. I was very honoured to become a part of this, I felt very fortunate.”

Even during the initial stages of the mural, the community at large have been overwhelmingly impressed, touched and supportive of the artist and his work.

Many Windsorites have stopped by the restaurant at the southwest corner of Tecumseh Road East and Walker Road to get a look at the mural and snap a few photos. For the artist, the piece has become monumental to him for personal reasons.

Many of his family members work in healthcare on the frontlines, including his mother — a nurse for 40 years of experience.

“I’ve painted a lot of murals in my time, this one definitely stands out for me,” Derkatz said.

To help those in need amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a limited edition print will be sold to raise money for local charity and relief fund.

“We’re getting prints done on high quality paper and sold on my links on social media,” he said. “It’s just DERKZ on Instagram and Facebook @DERKZ.”