COVID NYC Update: Los Angeles artist donates 1,800 paintings to Brooklyn Hospital

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BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) – A West Coast artist makes an incredible donation to a New York hospital. Inside a truck, an unusual delivery was made to the Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn.They were not medical supplies, but boxes loaded with paints.

Eighteen hundred paintings. One for each worker.

Sheila Arthur Smith received one of these paintings.

“Oh, it’s incredible. Oh my God. Oh my god, ”said Smith.

She manages patient accounts. But she was also a patient who fought COVID-19.

“I was very sick, I was in the hospital for eight days,” said Smith. “I was able to go out and many people were not. ”

The paintings are a gift from Michael Gittes, a 32-year-old Los Angeles artist.

“I wanted to make sure everyone felt that everyone loved them,” said Gittes.

Love and appreciation dedicated to those who do so much during the pandemic.

On the worst day at Interfaith, they treated 116 positive COVID patients.

“I wanted to make sure he was going somewhere that I had virtually no connection to,” said Gittes. “Just to highlight the idea that it comes from everyone. ”

It was a deep feeling according to the president of the hospital.

“The fact that someone really creates art that is inherently spiritual and gives people they don’t know to show how much they appreciate these efforts by health workers in the last three to four month is just amazing, “President LaRay Brown said.

Michael painted about 100 flowers a day, not with a brush, but with a syringe, an abstract connection to the medical community.

Unlike the thousands of donated meals and the evening applause, these tables will last.

“They should feel proud and it should be a reward, I hope they will see it every day and be reminded that what they are doing is important,” said Gittes.

For Smith, the flower she received reminds her of the sister who fell to COVID-19.

“She died the same day I was released,” said Smith. “This photo I am holding is in memory of her. ”

The project was funded by collectors who bought a handful of Gittes flower paintings.

And if his work has been presented in museums in London and Paris, for him, it is more significant.

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