A few months ago I had an idea. No, seriously. I knew Shore Memorial Hospital, now Shore Medical Center, would be opening its new surgical pavilion soon. A great opportunity to feature great art. So I proposed that they have an art fundraiser, invite their most generous donors, and use the money to purchase art from local and regional artists, many of whom have been struggling in this economy. Win/win, right?
I met with Mary McRae, chief operating officer for the Shore Memorial Health Foundation and she really liked the idea. The timing just wasn’t right.
About a month ago I received a call from Abby Crafts from the same Foundation. She wanted to know if I could recommend some local artists since they were in the process of buying art for the new pavilion. Eureka! What an opportunity! I then asked Mike Cagno, the director of the Noyes Museum of Art, for help with the project. We met with Abby, ideas and numbers were thrown around, next thing we know, the hospital decides it would like to use the second floor lobby as an ‘art gallery’. It’s a huge, beautiful space and the main entrance into the hospital. But which artists would be willing to bring in their work, leave it for six months and hope someone buys it? Not an easy sell. Then we approached Mary ‘it can be done’ Cantone, director of the William Ris Gallery in Stone Harbor. She loved the idea and convinced many of her best artists to participate. Mike, Mary and I hung the ‘gallery’ pieces on Friday. They look amazing.
Abby and the hospital also bought work from several local galleries including Accent in Ocean City, the Greate Bay Gallery in Somers Point and the William Ris Gallery. They also purchased photography from several local and regional photographers. There were several excellent regional artists I would like to have seen included, but this was a very good step.
I, and ArtC, would like to thank Abby Crafts for her hard work and for including us in this project, Mike Cagno for his expertise and work ethic, and Mary Cantone for her enthusiasm and, of course, providing great art.
And I promise never to use the word ‘Eureka’ in a blog again. Thanks for listening.
At SMC opening: seated l-r Victoria Revoir, painter, Patricia Walker, painter;
standing l-r Lance Balderson, painter, Betsy R. Miraglia, mixed media artist,
Mary Cantone, Bill Horin, Abby Crafts, Holly Horner, fine art photographer
SMC opening photo by Alex Anton