Baltimore artist utilizes evocative painting to aid victims of Hurricane Irma

National Key Deer Refuge bunkhouse and maintenance facilities show significant damage from Hurricane Irma. Photo by USFWS

Hurricane Irma – the most powerful storm to strike the United States since Hurricane Katrina – caused catastrophic damage as it cut across the Carribean and into Florida. Sarasota was spared from much of the devastation, but other parts of the state were not so lucky. In total, 134 people have died as a result of the superstorm. Ninety Floridians make up the largest part of that number.

Gary Fronckoski, a Baltimore native and artist who now lives in Sarasota, has experienced communal heartache with his fellow Floridians. But memories of a personal nadir – a painful divorce which directly led Gary to a life-changing conversion to Christianity – have moved him to share one of his paintings, as a way to help anyone affected by Hurricane Irma.

The painting, entitled, “After the Storm” depicts a cluster of palm leaves set against the backdrop of a deep red-orange sky. The gently-moving waters below the palm leaves reflect the warming waves of the rising sunlight.

Artist Gary Fronckoski with his award-winning painting of a sidewalk along Federal Hill in Baltimore, Maryland.

Speaking yesterday morning with veteran broadcaster David Wolfe and home improvement contractor Len Besterman on the WSRQ-FM (Sarasota/Manatee) “My Home Improvement” show, Fronckoski explained his thoughts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma:

“The plan with ‘After the Storm’ recalls a pretty good journey for me. I painted it about fifteen years ago, after I was in a storm – an emotional storm. Basically, things just fell apart (in my life.) I put together this painting, and then a friend shared some Bible verses with me. Whenever I come across a storm, I go to this painting. I read this statement, and it just gives me clarity about where I am today.”

The devotional statement reads:

“As storms pass they may be frightful and fraught with uncertainty, but give thanks. Even when there are storms of confusion, the palm reminds us as its branches wave – Give Praise. ‘And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Ephesians 5:20)  ‘A huge crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, praise God! Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord…’ (John 12:13)”

“After Irma, I thought, ‘There’s gotta be more we can do as a community. We’ve got to help people.’

“‘After the Storm’ made such an impact on my life, and I just wanted to share that.”

Fronckoski told WSRQ-FM listeners he is making 300 high-quality copies of his painting available for sale – with all of the proceeds going to help Irma outreach.

“The idea is that 100% of the money generated from this run will go to victims of Hurricane Irma. We were lucky here in Sarasota, but people all around us are hurting.”

“Oriole Magic Sarasota Style” by Gary Fronckoski.

Fronckoski said the prints, which will be offered in three different sizes, will be produced using the fine art Giclée method.

“When the reproduction photographer takes the shot, you can actually see the brush strokes in the canvas. If I don’t sign it a second time, below the original signature on the canvas, you wouldn’t know it’s not an original painting. It’s really exciting for artists today, that we can offer our work like this to the public.”

An award-winning artist, Fronckoski’s work often depicts ocean views, as well as scenes of Sarasota, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. One of his previous paintings has drawn acclaim from baseball fans across the country. The pastel-hued work, entitled “Oriole Magic Sarasota Style,” is a meticulous rendition of Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida.  Sans urban eyesores, the painting wonderfully depicts the pleasing facade of the spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles.

Fronckoski also does work on commission. His current project will portray circus star Nik Wallenda.

“Nik is our own home-grown star. He’s done things like walk across the Grand Canyon and Niagra Falls on a piece of rope. Nik’s a strong man, inside and out. He’s another guy who wants to help out. That’s the reason I wanted to do this painting.

“I take everything I do very personal. Everything in life is relational. I think we are given opportunities to make things happen, and that’s what I do.”

Those interested in helping our neighbors by purchasing a copy of “After the Storm” may find it by visiting Gary’s site, Fronck Studio.

"After the Storm" by Baltimore artist Gary Fronckoski.
“After the Storm” by Gary Fronckoski.

One thought on “Baltimore artist utilizes evocative painting to aid victims of Hurricane Irma

  • October 30, 2017 at 12:06 PM

    Gary Fronckoski is a exceptional artist and amazing capturing the essence. To me Gary Fronckoski is Baltimore’s Best

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