A SERIES of hero key worker portraits by a Wee County artist is set to go on display at Forth Valley Royal Hospital tomorrow.

Clacks artist Karen Strang has been voluntarily painting portraits of community-nominated key workers as a way to pay tribute, as recently reported in the Advertiser.

She has since been invited the display the works in an exhibition at the hospital and was delighted to agree.

The artist has been busy creating a portrait a day ever since and around 20 of the works are set to go up at the Larbert hospital on Thursday, June 4.

There are hopes to keep the exhibition fresh as the latest works roll out of her busy home studio.

Karen teamed up with Artlink Central for the exhibition, where Silvia Sinibaldi curates the visual arts programme for NHS Forth Valley.

Silvia told the Advertiser: "It is exciting to see art coming back on the walls of Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

"Art in itself has an extraordinarily uplifting potential in healthcare settings and this exhibition creates a powerful human connection in these difficult times.

"Exhibiting portraits of key workers, aside from showing them much needed appreciation, puts a story next to each face and reminds us of how interconnected we are at a time in which it is required that we stay 'distant' and observe from far away.

"It is an occasion for people to be proud of themselves and for us to show care for the ones who take care."

The exhibition will open under the title Heroes Here and Now: Caring Through Covid.

The idea initially came from Kevin Harrison, director at Artlink Central, an organisation which helps co-ordinate the local health board's visual and wellbeing programme.

He said: "Karen is an extremely active community member and has supported Artlink Central from early on in its development.

"Her project felt like the perfect fit at a time when all art venues are on lockdown and now more than ever, we need to celebrate creativity and use it to connect with one another."

For Karen, the project has become an opportunity to contribute, exercise her creative muscles, but more importantly it is her way of paying tribute to the heroes of the pandemic, both local and further afield.

She added: "It's really about all these people who have been nominated."

The painter is happy to see the works on display, allowing staff and patients to see them physically in real life, as opposed to catching up with the latest on her Karen Strang Artist social media pages.