In the end “Pictures for Elmhurst,” which featured the work of 187 local artists involved in both commercial and fine arts photography, raised more than $1.3 million to support crisis operations at NYC Health+Hospitals/Elmhurst.
Funds will go toward the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and emergency medical response equipment, in addition to mental health and wellness services for staff and patients.
“During our moment of crisis, as we treated a community that was being horribly ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, our fellow New Yorkers opened up their hearts and used their tremendous talent to help us,” said Israel Rocha, vice president of Elmhurst and Queens hospitals. “We will never forget this deeply meaningful gesture.”
The project, initiated by Brooklyn-based photographer Samantha Casolari, was inspired by a similar undertaking in which the global creative community donated photos to raise money for coronavirus intensive care units at Pope John XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, Italy.
“This was a local project that turned into a global one, responding to one of the biggest crises of our century,” the “Pictures for Elmhurst” organizers said in a statement, “and we could not be more proud and grateful to have put our collective energies into it.”
Photographers offered prints of their work for sale, which were produced by Gowanus-based company Griffith Editions. Pieces sold for $150 each, and after deducting $15 in printing costs, the remainder of the proceeds was sent directly to Elmhurst Hospital.
“We will always remember this period as full of overwhelming emotions, both fear and gratitude,” the team continued. “This project changed our lives and perspectives. It made us feel both humbled and empowered by showing how good ideas, sheer will, and powerful images can have an impact. By supporting front-line workers through the fundraiser, we showed that a united community can get through even a pandemic of this kind.”