A local artist will have his work showcased at an art gallery in Dublin until March 30, and he hopes his work will bring hope to people who view it.
Jeremy Rosario, 43, a resident of Delaware, said the paintings in his seven-piece collection “The Heart of the Storm” were inspired by the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria.
The collection will be displayed at the Diamond Cellar located at 6280 Sawmill Parkway, Dublin, from March 21 to March 30.
Rosario said he is originally from Puerto Rico and has family members that were affected by the hurricane last fall. Rosario said for months, he knew nothing about his family’s condition because all of the communication infrastructure in Puerto Rico was damaged.
“People lost everything they had,” Rosario said. “We starting sending boxes of food with the idea of providing hope and love. My sister told me goods were not getting to stores, and that’s when we took initiative.”
Rosario said his sister wanted to get some fruits for her children and waited in line for two hours at a grocery store before leaving empty-handed because there was no fruit. Upon arriving home, she discovered a box with pineapples and other fruit had been sent to her by Rosario.
“There are so many stories of how God provided,” Rosario said. “No way we could have orchestrated that.”
In the five months since he began sending boxes, Rosario said members of his church (Grace Church of Powell), friends, and complete strangers have been donating food for the cause. Rosario said children from his church began writing encouraging notes and Bible verses and including them in to boxes for children in Puerto Rico to read.
Rosario added he has sent roughly 250 boxes to Puerto Rico.
An artist since the age of 12, Rosario said the seven-piece “Heart of the Storm” collection was something he created to raise money to send more supplies to Puerto Rico and to send a message of hope.
“When we were sending these boxes, I was thinking we can use art to heal,” Rosario said. “One thing I want people to get out of (the showcase) is that idea of providing hope and healing the heart.”
Rosario said the art in the collect is either about the human reaction to the hurricane’s devastation or about the way people and families come together in times of hardship.
Rosario highlighted the final piece in the collection of a boy holding a small fruit with his father’s hand on his head.
“The child with little fruit in his hands is a reminder that there’s hope for the future,” Rosario said. “This series should be able to depict isolation and devastation, and coming together to find hope.”
He added that the money he collects from the art show will go toward organizing a team to go to Puerto Rico with some construction workers to install roofs on damaged homes.
Rosario said the focus shouldn’t be on him, but on the community.
“This really wasn’t us. There was a lot of people who came alongside,” Rosario said. “This is the story of people coming together and showing love.”
He encourages small gestures of love and said, “You never know the impact it’s going to have on people’s lives.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.