In January 2020, six Seattle area artists were asked to create artwork for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 20th anniversary. The artists were asked to interpret four themes that are key to the foundation’s mission. ZINC contemporary artist Holly Ballard Martz chose to highlight the importance of vaccines, education, family planning, and the significance of individual actions.
“As I immersed myself in the planning of this commission the world became consumed by the current global pandemic. It was a particularly emotionally charged time to work on a piece about the devastation that infectious diseases inflict and the preciousness of vaccines. Initially, I felt as though the other themes I chose to address weren’t perhaps as relevant, but the pandemic exposed the vast inequities that exist across society, including those within education and health care. It also reinforced our interconnectedness, how even the smallest action can initiate an exponential reaction.” – Holly Ballard Martz