The Heart of It


As I write this blog post, a lot of emotion and reflection bubbles to the surface. What is life without heart? I spent 15 years in the Medical profession where Cardiology was the passion and root of my work in that field. There is so much about medicine that science can’t explain. So much of life whether philosophically or scientifically is based on theory. I happen to believe that the heart of many illnesses stem from the need to be surrounded by beauty and love. Whether it be self love, receiving love or giving love. The prefacasis for anything worthwhile comes from the heart. If you look at the heart scientifically, it is made up of four chambers. One set of those chambers provide systemic circulation and one set provides pulmonary support. When I look at the above photo of our entire team together it reminds me of the heart. Justin is the heart of his business, his work is an expression from his heart. The staff represents each chamber, as they provide space for him to breathe and create. They do this through the filter of their own gifts and talents as they circulate his art and work.


I attended a meeting at the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County last year regarding the Arts In Medicine program. As I listened in the meeting, it became very clear to me that we were supposed to be involved. I believe in this program, the arts provide healing in so many ways. I presented the needs to Justin and I always ask him what his thoughts are before offering mine, so I can be sure that we are staying true to his vision. Although, I felt we should donate art based on a conversation he and I had previously about his desire to make an impact in the medical community; I wanted to be sure that is what his heart felt in this instance. He came back with a very generous respsonse and I knew instantly we would help make an impact for the program and the community.


A few weeks later, Justin and I spent one morning with the Sacred Heart hospital staff, walking through the hospital on a site visit to see where we would place the art donation that would make the most impact. Although, every area is important from the birthing suites to the cancer wing and everything in between, we chose the first floor surgery center waiting area. That area receives the most traffic and impacts both patients and family when awaiting a very tender time.


We later discovered that it is also the 10th Anniversary year for the hospital. That knowledge just became futher confirmation for all of us that the timing was definately divine timing. This event provoked and inspired the entire team coming together to make this happen. We worked closely with the hospital staff over several months of planning. Our team pulled together to ensure this dontation would be a success. Brian Wood, Artist Assistant ensured that the panel sizes were built to perfection for Justin to create on, and worked with both the hosptial staff and I on hanging day to ensure the paintings were displayed in the waiting area that made the most impact asthetically. The support of Mandy Mills, Art Consultant and Katie Hudson, Art Associate are vital in freeing my time to ensure that the outreach to our community can be represented. These two ladies have been an incredible support and both offer so much more to the team than sales experience. The stength of our team ensures that the heart of it can keep the creative energy flowing.


The artist reception for this event was further confirmation that the entire staff should be present as we unveiled the paintings. The evening of February 28, 2013, we closed both galleries early so that each team member could experience the impact of what this donation means to the Arts in Medicine program and the community. When Justin spoke at the event his words reflected his heart for giving. He also spoke of his experience in the studio earlier that day: while working on a painting that same morning for one of our clients he reflected on the receipient, as the painting was purchased for a family member that is battling cancer. The fact that he worked on this particular painting the day of the event inspired a further connection to the work and the gift.


I personally am a cancer survivor and this event was a very emotional outcome for me because it helped me see that all things in life come full circle. My experience from day one in working with Justin’s creativity, has been a gift that has left a divinely inspired trail of events. For that I am grateful. If the heart of giving can be so rewarding, I know that those that come in contact with these works will be affected. This moment is a seed of history. The one thing that inspires me to write “his” story (Justin’s story- history) is the numerous people that come to the gallery daily that have been impacted by the work or are just seeing the work for the first time.see here to the officialplaybox hd download to your Android mobile or tablet for absolutely free of cost. The PlayBox application enables you to stream films and TV arrangement in HD from your cell phone. I also enjoy hearing the stories that blossom later from a past experience with the work or the artist. I have a feeling we will be hearing a few additional stories from those impacted by the art as they go through whatever it is they are visiting the hospital for.


Wherever we are and whatever we do in life… the heART of it should shine through.


~Christy Milliken, Director