Laura Weiss told CNN she was a retired nurse when Boulder County Public Health asked for help administering vaccines in February.
“I had noticed all these hundreds and hundreds of empty vaccine vials that were otherwise going to be wasted, and I thought they were just really beautiful and wanted to do something significant and meaningful with them,” Weiss said.
Weiss got permission to use the glass Moderna vaccine vials and created a beautiful chandelier.
“I realized I wanted to do something with light because I just felt like it’s been such a dark and challenging year for so many people that like the idea of bringing a light to this,” she said.
“I think that light can represent hope and clarity and it also has the potential to actually expand the bigger view and verify perspective.”
The actual idea of making a chandelier came from an eBay purchase. She found the empty frame online and thought it would be a great vessel for her project.
“From a distance…the chandelier just looks like a regular chandelier, but as you get up closer to it, it becomes actually something very different and it changes your perspective,” she said.
“It reminds me that we can see something one way and as you get closer or look at it differently, our assumptions can actually be very incorrect.”
The art piece doesn’t have a permanent home yet, but Weiss said that wherever it goes, she wants everyone who sees it to understand her intention to honor healthcare workers who put their health and lives on the line during the pandemic.
“There’s too many people and professions to mention, but especially these nurses who I just witnessed work tirelessly, hours and hours and hours, and days and days and days, without a day off, who just have so much passion and skill, and care and kindness,” she said.
“How do you say thank you to someone who is just doing so much for others? It’s so inspiring.”
However, Weiss is now giving back and inspiring others.
“This light of appreciation art piece is really important because I think we’re all seeing this sense of unity at this point as we see the Delta variant surge,” Angela Simental, the communications and marketing manager for Boulder Public Health, told CNN.
“We’re really happy to have this kind of light in art to remind us that we can protect ourselves and others by getting vaccinated by being kind to each other and by honoring the efforts of everybody involved in this.”