The Together While Apart Art Project and The Together While Apart 2020 Thank You To Our Nurses Campaign

 The Together While Apart Artwork, a nationally recognized pandemic art project was created, organized and lead by Deane Bowers. This collaborative artwork showcases the work of 19 artists from across the country, who came together from afar at the height of the pandemic. The Together While Apart Project has been included in The Smithsonian Institute's "Stories of 2020" because it is an important artistic symbol of Hope during that time. Created from repurposed cardboard boxes, each artist contributed their own cardboard square. Deane brought them together in a cohesive and meaningful composition that celebrates resiliency, courage and optimism. The Together While Apart Art Project honors front line and healthcare professionals across the country. Please read on for more information. 

                                     The Together While Apart Art Project 

Everyone has their own story about how they dealt with the loss, sadness, anxiety and unrest during 2020. A group of artists, brought together by Deane Valentine Bowers united from afar to find a way to help others, as well as comfort themselves. Through their hands, they channeled what was in their hearts and found an imaginative outlet for their grief and loneliness. They had a strong calling to offer Inspiration and Healing to others, as well as find a way to show support for front line and healthcare workers. 

Determined to make a difference, they put their own art pursuits on hold to help. Their project leader, Deane imagined a large quilt like composition that would reflect each artists’ personality by allowing them to have their own piece(s) to design.  Nineteen diverse artists from 8 different states (representing both coasts) answered this call to help. The men and women who participated were honored and excited to use their creative gifts in such a meaningful way. Working together from afar on this project, each artist found a sense of comfort and joy. Their collective feelings of goodwill and peace spread and provided inspiration to a broader audience. 

Coordinating this art project during the lockdown phase posed a few challenges. At the start, the only abundant art supplies Deane Bowers had to offer each participant were cardboard pieces from recycled shipping boxes she had accumulated. Because much of her own art is created from repurposed items, this was a perfect medium for the Together While Apart Project because Deane was able to keep it sustainable. Each artist received several 6” x 6” squares of cut cardboard to decorate anyway they desired. 

After many months of long distant creating and communication among the group, this amazing piece was finished in early 2021. The Together While Apart artists wanted to be a part of something bigger than themselves. This amazing composition is proof that kindness and generosity, a tiny spark of an idea and some old cardboard boxes can have far reaching impact on others. 

The artwork traveled throughout the Southeast for 10 months during 2021 and 2022 as a temporary exhibit at several hospitals and even an art museum. It will be permanently installed at The University of Virginia Medical Center in June 2022. At each exhibition location, this artwork has renewed faith, optimism, strength and connection in all who have viewed it. Because of the chaos and division in the world, the nineteen artists involved wanted to be a part of the solution by doing something positive for others. 

The Together While Apart Artwork is dedicated to all the front line and healthcare workers across the country who have given so much of themselves during the pandemic. They are true heroes and this piece honors them. Without their commitment, courage and selflessness, we would not have withstood the pandemic or recovered from it. 

The Together While Apart Project is on Instagram@TogetherWhileApartArtProject 

The Together While Apart Project now has a campaign in partnership with The American Nurses Association to raise funds for ANA's Wellness Initiative Program. 

The Together While Apart Artists want one final philanthropic role for this project. The Together While Apart Project has the power to be more than just something amazing and inspirational to look at. It has the capability to educate and create awareness. This artwork has been dedicated to front line and healthcare 

professionals and it is only fitting that it continues to find a variety of ways to honor these heroic professionals. Without their service, we would not have gotten through the pandemic. They put their lives on the line fighting Covid and made great sacrifices to keep others safe and healthy. Unfortunately they are now the ones who need help. Burn out, PTSD, low morale, grief, depression and financial stress are just a few of the serious issues some of them are currently experiencing.    

                 Introducing The Together While Apart 2020 Thank You Nurses         


The goal of this campaign is to raise $20, 200 an amount chosen because it reflects the numbers 2020, the year our national healthcare professionals truly became heroes. 

During the campaign, there will be a target ask amount of $20.20, with the ability to donate a greater amount as well. Donors may give in honor of a special healthcare professional whether they are a nurse or not, but the fundraiser directly serves Registered Nurses across the country. Any designated professional who receives a gift in their honor will receive a note of gratitude and thanks from The Together While Apart Project. 

This is a one time campaign that will stay in place until the financial goal has been met. Whether it takes 6 weeks or 6 months, this fundraiser will be live until we reach $20, 200. The campaign will be run by the American Nurses Association and all money raised will go towards the American Nurses Foundation Well-Being Initiative programs supporting the mental health and wellness of Registered Nurses in the United States. 

The American Nurse Foundation’s Well-Being Initiative Programs: 

The American Nurses Foundation's Well-Being Initiative programs supports the mental health and wellness of Registered Nurses in the United States. Program support includes complimentary therapy resources, expressive writing programs, financial consulting, podcasts and mobile apps dedicated to mental health and well-being, as well as content dedicated to grief and bereavement. Founded in 1955 as the research, educational, and charitable affiliate of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Nurses Foundation is dedicated to transforming the nation’s health through the power of nursing. The Foundation raises funds to elevate the image of nurses and improve their overall health. As nurses nationwide begin to recover from their traumatic experiences during the pandemic, there is much healing to be done. Unfortunately, therapeutic resources are expensive and are not readily available to all. The American Nurses Foundation works to ensure that those healthcare professionals who need help receive it. 

Here is the link to The Together While Apart Project 2020 Thank You Nurses Campaign


The goal of this campaign is to raise $20, 200, an amount chosen because it reflects the numbers 2020, the year our national healthcare professionals truly became heroes. 

There is a target ask amount of $20.20 that will enable one nurse to receive a “Happy toll-free call,”  a therapeutic hotline that offers free resources to boost and sustain their mental well-being. Year to date, The Together While Apart Thank You Nurses Campaign has raised over $15,500. This campaign has enabled over 940 Nurses around the country to have free access to these "Happy" calls with a mental health specialist. 





                                                 Press Mentions 


 Read about The Smithsonian's "Stories of 2020."


Write Up in Healing Power of Art Magazine


Write Up in UVA Arts Magazine


Write Up by ChannelKindness.Org, a nonprofit cofounded by Lady Gaga


The Together While Apart Story on YouTube