Gloucester, Va. – Patients and visitors walking the halls of Riverside Walter Reed Hospital can now enjoy more than just the beauty of the recently renovated and expanded facility.
A new art gallery showcasing local artists now deck the walls, serving as a fundraiser for the Riverside Foundation.
Named the Shoreline Art Gallery, the project was the brainchild of the hospital’s Senior Director of Finance and Analytics, Vonnie James, and Chief Medical Officer and General Surgeon, Melvin Schursky, M.D. The pair collaborated with local photographer Phil Dunn on the project.
“After the hospital’s big expansion, we realized we had all this wall space along the main thoroughfare and we hadn’t planned any artwork for it,” said Vonnie James. “We thought it would be great if we could feature local artwork for sale and then have the proceeds split between the artists and the Riverside Foundation.”
Through donations from the community and special fundraising projects, the Riverside Foundation works to ensure every member of the community has access to a high level of care.
Over the years, the Riverside Foundation has helped fund cancer care services to patients on the Middle Peninsula, the construction of a Family Care Room in the newly expanded Emergency Department at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital, and more.
“The money will also allow us to do things for our patients, such as providing comfort resources, help with medications, cell phone charging stations in the waiting rooms, transportation and assistive or mobility devices for our discharged patients, and many other ways we can provide help to our patients,” said Vonnie James.
The Shoreline Art Gallery opened in October 2019 and today features unique framed photography.
“We’ve gotten good feedback from people,” said Vonnie James. “Many want to know what it is we’re doing because it’s not every day you see an art gallery in a hospital.”
To keep things fresh, Vonnie James said, the artwork will rotate out every two months. Prices are firm and set by the artists with 25% of the proceeds benefitting the Riverside Foundation.
The framed photography will be for sale in the Shoreline Art Gallery through the end of February. In March and April, Vonnie James will switch things up and instead of featuring art for sale, she plans to feature artwork on loan from the Cook Foundation, made by artists from across the world visiting Gloucester as part of the local Artist in Residency programs.
As for future art shows, Vonnie James said, the hospital plans to highlight many different mediums and has even reached out to the local quilting society.
“We are hoping the art gallery is enjoyable for our patients, our visitors and also our team members,” said Vonnie James. “It gives them something different to look at every few months instead of the same thing every time you walk by.”
Those interested in purchasing art from the Shoreline Art Gallery can contact Volunteer and Gift Shop Coordinator Cindy Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 804-695-8585.
Published: January 30, 2020