Lewes artist creates Tower of Hope for COVID-19 victims

Former nurse Rita Healey builds fused-glass sculpture
June 15, 2020

When Rita Healey created the 6-foot Tower of Hope in her front yard, it was intended as a memorial to people who lost their lives to COVID-19.

Healey is from New Jersey, where she worked as a nurse and in public health. She is now living in Lewes and is a member of the Rehoboth Art League.

Healey says that the pandemic hit her hard, especially because she is older and a former nurse. These days, she finds catharsis in her art.

“Art touches both sides of me. It touches the medical side, and it also touches the art side,” Healey said. 

Healey fused varied pieces of glass in a kiln and then adhered them to the tower to create the Tower of Hope. Her husband cemented it into the ground, and they then painted it together.

After a little over two weeks, the tower was finished. It’s bright red with brightly colored pieces of glass covering it.

“I wasn’t just going to put something on there that didn’t have some kind of beauty or life to it,” Healey said.

Now every time Healey looks at the tower, she says it gives her a feeling of beauty and hope.

Not a lot of people have asked her the significance of her tower, but Healey doesn’t mind. 

“I know the meaning of it. That’s the important thing to me,” Healey said.

She’s received compliments from people in the neighborhood about the tower, and her immediate neighbors also know about her being a former nurse, and that she created the tower to honor COVID-19 victims. Healey says it’s in part due to her medical background that she feels the urge to give back to those in need.

“I hope the colors are cheerful, and that they can look down and smile at it.”



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