Dry-Erase Masterpieces

When dry-erase masterpieces mysteriously appeared on hallway whiteboards at IU Health University Hospital in Indianapolis, passersby were at once awestruck and perplexed. Who was creating these incredible works of art?

It was soon discovered that the anonymous artist was William Minion, a 20-year-old IUPUI student who works part-time at the hospital on the custodial team.

“On the weekends, we’d have a lot of down time, so I figured I might as well put something up while I’m here,” Minion told The Indianapolis Star.

His modestly described “somethings” were intricate, detailed wildlife drawings that included an elephant, iguana, stallion, blue jay, rhinoceros, and most recently a tiger.

A young Black man wearing glasses and a blue T-shirt poses beside a dry-erase drawing of a rhinoceros in a hospital hallway.
Whiteboard wonder: William Minion with his work in the basement hallway of IU Health University Hospital. “I put it up, let it sit for a minute, and then I’ve got to move on,” Minion told The Indianapolis Star. “It’s gone but not forgotten.” Photo: Ben Meraz

However, most impressive of all might be Minion’s lack of formal training. “No training,” he explained. “I just practice. Honestly, it’s not even something I can take credit for. It’s something I’ve been gifted.”

Sharing that gift lifted the spirits of health care workers during one of the most tumultuous periods of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s kind of the exact opposite of what I thought I would find on [the whiteboard],” noted Dr. Meghan Lark, a resident at IU Health University Hospital. “I was so taken by it. It was a breath of fresh air.”

To show their appreciation, the hospital’s doctors and nurses often write notes of gratitude on the whiteboard.

The power of art to uplift and inspire isn’t lost on Minion. For his part, he was happy to brighten the days of the hospital staff during an otherwise bleak period of recent history. In that way, Minion’s fleeting drawings left a permanent mark.

Check out more of William Minion’s work by following him on Instagram @dub.does.art.

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This article was originally published in the 2022 issue of Imagine magazine.

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Written By
A. Price
A resident of the Hoosier state since grade school, Alex forged a friendship with “tried and true” IU upon becoming a writer at the IU Foundation.