Painting for a Cause
Local Artist Raises Hundreds of Thousands for Charity
By Jesse Nadelman / November 1, 2015
Who would've thought that the local custodian at Westchester Elementary would be the famous artist to paint the cover of Sports Illustrated, and raise $170,000 dollars for charity with superstar athletes, like Shaquille O'Neal? Joseph Gormley has helped the world become a better place by selling his artwork--worth thousands of dollars--and giving all of the proceeds to charity.
When Gormley moved to America from Scotland in 2004, he had always looked at painting as a fun activity, but nothing more. In fact, he didn't even start painting until a few years ago, when his wife bought him a package of art supplies as a Christmas present. "She had to know something," Joseph said about his wife. The rest is history.
Gormley's first art piece was of a soccer star for an eleven-year old girl, who was fighting cancer back in Scotland. He sold the picture on EBay for $11,000. All of the proceeds of the painting went towards the young lady's treatment. That was the moment that Gormley got the idea that started it all. "That's when I realized this is a new path, a new journey," he said. "If my artwork is selling for money, then I can actually start helping my community here."
However, Gormley does not pocket any of the profits. Rather, he gives 100% of it to charity. "I'm not attached to money," Gormley remarked. "I have a job, and I keep within my means. The friendships I made during this journey are more important and last longer than money."
The humble artist's first charity gig was with Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers. Since, Gormley has worked with big names, including Shaq, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeff Conine, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Rod Stewart, and David Beckham. His paintings also grace the walls of giant venues, including BB&T Center, Sun Life Stadium, Marlins Park, and Century Link Field in Seattle. "To be able to work with them, it was amazing," he said.
Throughout all these events, Gormley still supports himself and his wife by continuing to work as a janitor at the local elementary school. "I'm not a charity guy 24/7," he explains. "If you watch superheroes, they don't wear their costume all day, they take part in everyday life, and it's the same with me. I go off to work as a janitor, but in the evenings I get to put on the charity hat."
Most recently, Gormley was at the Miami Marlins' fantasy auction at Marlins Park, where he painted a picture of Giancarlo Stanton that sold for $40,000. Tears of joy trickled down Gormley's face as his creation sold on live TV for that much money. And of course, all of the money went to charity. "Fame comes at a price. I don't want fame, I want reputation," Gormley exclaimed. "I give money from the heart, not the pocket."
Gormley returned to Marlins Park in August to present Marlins' legends Juan Pierre and Dontrelle Willis with their portraits that he painted. The artist is currently auctioning off a painting of the Seattle Sounders FC, featuring USA soccer star Clint Dempsey. In the future, Gormley hopes to obtain his goal of reaching one million dollars donated to charity. "If you come to America and make money for other people, it's a legacy," Joseph said.
Have a look for yourself at www.josephgormley.com. You can also shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at 954-213-5639.
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