Donation of artwork brings sunshine into hospital

sacred heart art

Local artist Justin Gaffrey donated three pieces of artwork to Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast to bring joy to those going through a tough time. Here, the artist is seen with hospital President Roger Hall.

Deborah Wheeler | The Sun
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 04:35 PM.


Blue Mountain Beach artist Justin Gaffrey enjoys sitting in a corner of his gallery or studio and watching people’s reaction to his artwork. The reaction he usually sees is that of joy.

The idea occurred to Gaffrey that he wanted to share that joy and take it into the environment where joy and peace is most needed: a hospital.

Gaffrey and Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast President Roger Hall collaborated to choose a spot for a piece of Gaffrey's artwork and decided on the surgical waiting room. However, Gaffrey couldn't decide on which wall in the waiting room would be best for his artwork and ended up donating three of his paintings to hang on three different walls in the waiting room.

The three paintings were hung and unveiled at a public reception Feb. 28.

"I am happy to be a part of a community like this one and to be able to help people going through tough times," said Gaffrey. "I watch the people in my gallery and the joy they get from seeing my work and sometimes they get emotional. It occurred to me that there are a lot of people who have just come out of cancer treatment and what a perfect place to bring joy — at the hospital. It's a tough place to be."

The largest piece, which is of sunflowers in his expressive acrylics, is an original created by Gaffrey especially for the hospital.

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