August 21, 2020 – Like so many Americans watching the pandemic unfold,
Randy Siegel wondered what he could do for frontline hospital workers.
“I had been thinking for a long time about what I could do to show
appreciation for health care workers,” said Siegel, an artist who
splits his time between St. Simons Island, Georgia, and Asheville, North
Carolina. After watching a news report on Michael Gittes, a Los Angeles-based
artist who donated paintings to employees of Interfaith Medical Center
in Brooklyn, New York, Siegel had his answer.
“I have given away more than 100 of my paintings over the past two
years, as part of my From the HeART program,” Siegel explained.
“Eight of those paintings went to patients who received cancer treatment
at Southeast Georgia Health System. I thought that giving frontline workers
artwork might uplift them.”
He got to work, producing more than 20 new paintings reflecting his interests
in spirituality, Jungian psychology and Southern outsider art. Having
previously exhibited and donated pieces from his exhibit at the Health
System’s Horton Gallery last fall, he felt a connection to the hospital.
Siegel reached out to his rector, Fr. Tom Purdy at Christ Church Frederica
who introduced him to Christy Jordan, Esq. the Health System’s chief
operating officer and general counsel. Jordan then coordinated the artwork
transfer to Krista Robitz, director of development at Southeast Georgia
Health System Foundation.
“People often think that financial gifts are the only means of supporting
their community hospital. While financial support is essential, many individuals
also donate art, real estate or other valuables,” Robitz said, adding,
“Randy Siegel’s generous gesture is a uniquely personal way
to acknowledge and appreciate our team members when they need it most,
especially during COVID-19.”
Health System team members will be randomly selected to take home one of
Siegel’s original artworks. The back of each piece includes a blessing
or prayer for the recipient. “I like to think that each painting
has some positive energy,” Siegel said.
Sharing his message of hope and healing with hospital workers is a way
for Siegel to express his love for St. Simons Island and the Golden Isles.
“I grew up in Atlanta and vacationed here as a child. Moving to
this wonderful community was a chance to reconnect with my Georgia roots,”
Through his deeply introspective style, Siegel “challenges viewers
to think, feel and perhaps remember something of themselves once forgotten.”
Hopefully, his paintings will remind their new owners that their contributions
and sacrifices will never be forgotten.
To learn how you can support your community hospitals, contact Southeast
Georgia Health System Foundation at 912-466-7000.