Capture the “everyday.” That was one of Walker Antonio’s assignments in a beginner painting class during the spring semester. What he captured expressed both the everyday and the extraordinary.

“I decided I wanted to paint those who take care of not only me, but so many others every day,” says Antonio ’23, a studio art major from Kilmarnock, Virginia. “When times got hard due to COVID-19, these workers took extra time out of their day to ensure the safety of not just their coworkers, but the students as well.”

The paintings — Mr. Rod, Ms. Sandra, Ms. Finch and Kiwi — are all 24 x 18 inches, acrylic on Masonite. Antonio gifted the paintings to their namesakes, and the paintings now hang in the Zach’s food court in the Mungo Student Center.

“It was a great pleasure working with Ms. Finch and Mr. Rod in organizing the painting and gifting of these pieces,” says Antonio, whose work is influenced by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon and Paul Gauguin. “The series that I call ‘Wofford essential workers’ is about story and emotion. That’s what I wanted to bring to light.”

The gesture was been appreciated by Zach’s staff.

“We were excited,” says Rod Martin, director of retail for AVI Fresh. “One thing that I’ve noticed about the students at Wofford is that they are very appreciative of what we do.”

Donelle Finch, an AVI supervisor, considers herself a second mom to many students, including Antonio.

“It’s overwhelming and heartfelt that he cared enough to paint a picture of us,” Finch says.

Watch Antonio and Finch discuss the project with WSPA.

See more of Antonio’s work and follow him on Instagram.