Every time I am involved in the Splash process, it is different from my previous experience. Different, but even more wonderful! With every Splash, I learn to look for reactions, be it feedback from the recipients, or impressions from my fellow artists. My latest Splash had it all.
Our first project was a Painting for A Purpose event, held in conjunction with the American Bankers Association conference in Orlando. The completed murals from the event would be gifted to two Ronald McDonald Houses in St. Petersburg. Since none of the members of our team had ever been involved in this type of event, we had no preconceived expectations. But, under the watchful eye of our team leader Jimmy Knapp, we were ready! When the first group of conference attendees arrived, we encouraged them to get involved and get painting. At the start, people weren’t sure if they had the courage or the talent. But, by the end of our time there, attendees of all ages were seeking us out, both excited and proud that their work would be showcased at a Ronald McDonald house for the kids and their families to enjoy.
After the conference, we left for a local Airbnb, ready to spend a few days tweaking the murals for the Ronald McDonald Houses, painting four ceiling tiles and three murals for Cone Health in North Carolina. With renewed energy and a new Splash participant, we set to work. In a few days, we completed the murals, and varnished them to get them set for their new homes. Delivering the murals to the Ronald McDonald Houses in St. Petersburg was first, and what a joy to find out the murals exceeded their expectations!
Involvement with an enthusiastic team is gratifying, but working with a Splashes of Hope team is the best! Congratulations to our Splash team members: Donna and Bill Kreutz, Russ and Catherine Brown, Laura and Leah Pertot, and our newest member, Lou Amato.
Background of the project: this way-finding project was for the New Jersey VA Lyon's 'Wunnel' where Splashes of Hope depicted various scenes of New Jersey . The purpose is for veterans with dementia to determine where they are in this .5 mile tunnel, going to various programs throughout the VA. The story below is from Kim's perspective as one of the main artists on this project...
It was my first time designing layouts in the creative process for the VA Lyon’s campus project and having involvement with the entire 'Splash process'. Together with Splashes of Hope’s studio manager Miguel, my personal mission was to convey the spirit of HOPE in the work and contribute something special to this amazing project. I was very blessed to have the support of such a fabulous artist, helping me along and working every step of the way with me. He taught me so much and I am super grateful for that!
While researching the reference for all the beautiful places and landscapes in New Jersey, I found places I never even knew existed. Right from the start, it was really fun and I so want to visit all of them!!! From the Cherry blossoms in Brook Branch park, the sunflower farm in Sussex County, the seashores of Cape May, the views of NYC skyline from Liberty Park, to the castle in Fort Lee and the secret gardens---- there was so much eye candy with which to work. This made it easy to be invested early into the process of bringing this project to life in a Splashy style! My goal was to showcase the Splash signature trademark of painting into my efforts. All the artwork I see at Splashes of Hope is always warm, and hopeful, inviting viewers to visit places through their eyes and into their hearts.
On the day of the murals’ installation, there were so many smiles on the people we met. Wayfinders, placed next to the murals, not only provided a description of each of the places in New Jersey, but also a bit of their history. This was a personal touch that I felt really brought it all home to the viewers. I was so happy and proud to share this first installation experience with my dad Buzzy, who is a vet. This is a memory I will always cherish.
I loved being a part of this journey. It’s such a privilege to be part of the Splashes of hope legacy, to be on the team and feel a part of a big family of artists.
I have thought often about the people who would be invited into these created landscapes, places they knew, and have had fond memories of throughout their lifetime. My hope is that it will bring them all joy, peace, and comfort, gifted in a very special way with love and respect from our studio. And I pray that our Splash will give them the HOPE they so deserve.
Splashes of Hope
Founded in 1996, Splashes of Hope is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to creating art to transform spaces, enrich environments and facilitate healing.