The color illustration is being reproduced for the second phase as an 18.5”x 10" poster, and for a limited time is available to donors who contribute $25 or more to the COVID-19 Supplies Fund through the Staten Island Not-for-Profit Association, a local organization fielding donations for PPE and other supplies for local community-based organizations.
This second phase comes on the heels of the success of the first phase, where signed prints of the 13”x 20” piece were made available to the first 200 people who pledged a $50.19 or more donation to the Staten Island Not-for-Profit Association. Borough President Oddo is pleased to announce more than $10,000 has been raised from the completion of the first phase of the initiative.
Generous citizens who would like to support this effort can donate at www.sinfpa.org or by mailing a check directly to Staten Island NFP Association (950 W. Fingerboard Rd, Staten Island, NY 10305). Those who have contributed to the fund and are expecting one of the original 13”x 20” signed pieces will be receiving the print shortly, if they have not already gotten theirs.
“Staten Island, thank you! In just two weeks, you have helped us hit our goal of raising more than $10,000 to supply our frontline healthcare workers with critically needed PPE. We are so grateful to be able to bring this partnership with James Cox to the Staten Island community, and are even more grateful to see the response you have given it. Thank you to everyone who has supported this initiative, either by making a donation to the fund or by sharing this information so others may,” noted Borough President Oddo.
Thank you to Luke’s Copy Shop, who has agreed to provide prints of the illustration as their donation to the cause for both phases of the initiative.
“Thank you to all that have donated so far. The poster version will continue this great collaboration between the Borough President’s Office, myself, Luke’s Copy Shop, and the SINFPA to raise money for the people that need it most. This whole experience is proving art can make a difference!” said Artist James Cox.
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Borough President Oddo has seen many Staten Islanders step up to show their support for the first responders and health care workers who have fought this crisis on the frontline. However, this story was one Borough President Oddo was particularly impressed by.
Cox, a 23-year old resident of West Brighton, with a gift for art illustration and a passion for community spirit, created his latest work of art as a tribute to health care providers and other front line workers fighting to save lives in the Coronavirus crisis. The illustration entitled “Thank You,” drawn in pencil, and then scanned into the computer where it was digitally colored-over in Photoshop, depicts frontline warriors in the Coronavirus battle holding up the Verrazano Bridge.
Cox’ mother, Renee, shared with Borough President Oddo her son’s work, stating that he hoped to support local healthcare heroes and essential frontline workers by using his artwork to raise money for needed PPE and other supplies for frontline workers. The Borough Hall team immediately fell in love with the drawing, its message, and the artist's goal, and got to work to make the concept a reality.
Borough President Oddo asked Emil Micha, a Borough Hall Graphic Designer with a long and distinguished career as art director for institutions like Sotheby's and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to get in touch with Mr. Cox to offer his advice and expertise. After Emil spoke with the artist, Borough Hall went directly to Luke’s Copy Shop, a local small business, to make this concept a reality.
Cox explained that he came up with the idea for the piece after social distancing rules were put in place and he ventured out one night to buy food at Café Milano on Forest Avenue, realizing how fortunate he is to still be able to pick up pizza during a time like this. James lives close to Richmond University Medical Center. He shared that the night he went out for food, he felt inspired by the heroes outside his bedroom window, and began sketching the figures in the piece.
The illustration reflects his pride in being a New Yorker and a Staten Islander, and paid homage to the frontline heroes in this health crisis: from our hospital nurses and doctors and first responders and city workers to our small businesses and construction workers.
Cox is pursuing a Masters Degree in Arts Education at Brooklyn College. He received his BA in Art Illustration from Pratt Institute. His career goal is to be an Arts Education teacher, as well as a professional illustrator.