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Houston artist Stacy Gresell donates painting to HCA North Cypress through partnership with Bayou City Art Festival

Houston artist Stacy Gresell has been eating outdoors, 10 feet away from her husband, for months.

Gresell's husband works on the front lines during the pandemic as a charge nurse around COVID-19 patients. The two have had to maintain physical distance since April, explains an HCA Houston Healthcare blog entry from July 27.

To recognize people like her husband who are making sacrifices to care for patients, Gresell has donated a piece of artwork to HCA Houston Healthcare North Cypress.

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She, along with seven other area artists, have contributed artwork to several HCA Houston Healthcare locations through a partnership between HCA and the Bayou City Art Festival.

HCA announced the initiative, called HeART for Heroes, in a July 28 press release. The artists' work will be displayed at the hospital locations as a way to appreciate and encourage front-line health care professionals.

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"Partnering with Bayou City Art Festival during this pandemic means a great deal to our colleagues and frontline workers," Kelli Nations, chief nurse executive at HCA Houston Healthcare said in the announcement. "We are so grateful for the time and talent donated to support those dedicated to providing care during the pandemic. This partnership will spread messages of inspiration and hope as we all work together through these challenging times."

Most of the artists' work is being temporarily contributed to the hospitals. Gresell is one of three participating artists who donated her artwork permanently through the HeART for Heroes initiative.

"Watching my husband's commitment and the outreach that the Bayou City Art Festival does in its own community to support artists and the arts, is always a mission I can get behind," Gresell said in the blog. "This collaboration seemed like a natural fit and it's a good way for me to honor the work he and his colleagues do every day in the most vivid way I know how."

Gresell is a mixed-media artist who uses diverse mediums including glass, a variety of paints, metal and leather for her work.

The painting she donated to display at the North Cypress hospital is titled, "Living on the Downbeat." The piece is a vibrant portrait of a masked health care professional.

"Hopefully, it will honor everyone who faces this pandemic every day," Gresell said. "It is colorfully inclusive of the incredible diversity of people who are risking their lives to take care of others day in and day out. I'm a mixed-media artist so the inclusion of the materials used is purposeful, thoughtful and reflective of the reality we're all living in."

Each of the participating HeART for Heroes artists have been involved with the Bayou City Art Festival, an event that the Art Colony Association produces. The association's executive director, Kelly Batterson, called the artists' work inspiring.

"We are honored to partner with HCA Houston Healthcare in its HeART for Heroes art project that brings the joy of art and much-needed healing during this unprecedented time," Batterson said. "The artists of Bayou City Art Festival inspire us all with their heart and through their art to recognize, appreciate and show the community's appreciation for healthcare heroes on the frontline."

For more information about the HeART for Heroes project and the artists involved, visit www.hcahoustonhealthcare.com/blog/entry/heart-for-heroes-bringing-beauty-to-the-frontline. For more information about Stacy Gresell, visit www.stacygresellfineart.com.

mfeuk@hcnonline.com

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