Local artist’s tribute to healthcare workers on display at UP Health System-Marquette

MARQUETTE — A local welder is using his creative talents to say “thank you” to our healthcare professionals.

When Tom Lakenen isn’t working at construction sites, he builds sculptures like this one out of scrap iron. This piece was designed as a tribute to honor all the essential workers trying to keep Marquette County safe and healthy.
Lakenen says this sculpture is his way of showing support to area healthcare workers.

“You feel kind of helpless not being able to get out and do anything,” said Lakenen. “And you see the doctors and nurses and all the support staff and janitors and everybody that are on the front line here, and you’d like to be able to help them or at least show them some support. And that’s my way of showing them and telling them thanks.”

Most of Lakenen’s work can be found at Lakenenland Sculpture Park on M–28. However, he thought this piece would be perfect in a place where it could be seen by those it was made to honor. It is now on display outside the front doors of UP Health System–Marquette.

Lakenen says it’s already having an impact on healthcare professionals and their families.

“One couple that sent me an email were just really thrilled that it was there,” Lakenen said. “Their daughter is a nurse and I guess it kind of touched them. It’s pretty trying times for everybody that’s got to make a living inside those hospital doors, and I’ve just got the highest amount of respect for every one of them. Hopefully it’ll bring them a little bit of joy in these trying times.”

More information about Lakenen and his work can be found on the Lakenenland website.