It seems like in the space of only an instant, coronavirus not only ravaged the world but turned the state of New York and New York City into horrifying stage sets for one of the worst pandemics the world has ever seen, practically overnight. Every individual is struggling and in need of resources, but a group of New York artists have recently come together to raise money for Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, which has quickly become one of the hardest-hit medical facilities in the five boroughs. Initiated by the photographer Samantha Casolari and a group of others, Pictures For Elmhurst is a photo print sale fundraiser that opened on April 10 and runs through April 20, and which will feature works for sale from 96 total New York-based photographers.
Each print for sale on the initiative’s website will only cost $150, a non-prohibitive expense for people who want to buy some new art for their now constantly-occupied apartments and support hospital workers at the same time. Plus, the talented photographers offering their work for sale are incredibly diverse and fascinating. Bon Duke’s portrait of a white-haired young woman feels alien and high-end, while Justine Kurland’s intimate snapshot of children on a farm evokes warm feelings of nostalgia, and those are just a couple of examples of the artistry on display.
And Elmhurst Hospital, which is sorely in need of PPE and backup for its staff, is extremely worthy of the help this fundraising effort is aiming to provide. “We are trying to raise as much as we can,” Casolari told Observer on Friday. “The situation at the hospital is evolving on a daily basis, and it’s difficult to put a number to and quantify the need at the moment.”
“There was a big sense of frustration during lockdown, as you feel incapable to help the community around you,” Casolari added. “Out there is an invisible enemy and you are advised to stay home, so it’s difficult to help. Organizing this fundraiser allowed us to finally be able to do something and feel useful and involved. And it’s such a great feeling to be able to help others!”