In these difficult and challenging times, an anonymous local benefactor, an award-winning Tucson artist, and two Arizona creative businesses, have collaborated on a gratitude project designed to lift spirits and publicly thank first responders and members of the healthcare community for their dedicated service and on-going efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The visual centerpiece of the project is Sending You a Hug, an acrylic painting by acclaimed Tucson artist and gallery owner, Diana Madaras. The painting features a cowboy hat-topped saguaro wearing a medical mask with its cactus arms entwined in an embrace.
“I love this hugging cactus that lives at White Stallion Ranch in Tucson,” said Madaras. “It sends the perfect message for thanking our first responders and healthcare workers. It’s a symbol of hope for all of Arizona.”
Madaras said when the quarantine hit, her staff immediately asked, “What can we do for other people?”
“The first thing the gallery did,” said Madaras, “was to donate coloring books and crayons to 600 TUSD children. Then, one of our collectors (who wishes to remain anonymous) volunteered to underwrite a project to recognize our first responders and healthcare workers. We all loved the idea of offering thanks and recognition of the incredible job these dedicated professionals are doing. “
Incorporating the hugging cactus image, Madaras Gallery designed and created a banner, poster, and postcard to convey heartfelt thanks to community first responders and healthcare professionals. All will be supplied at no cost to the healthcare facilities.
Some of Madaras Gallery’s vendors also stepped up to help support the project.
Image Craft of Phoenix produced the Sending You a Hug posters and banners that will be displayed inside and outside Tucson Medical Center, 16 MHC centers in Marana, as well as other healthcare facilities.
AlphaGraphics Commercial Print Services of Tucson absorbed half the cost of printing 15,000 postcards that will be given away to first responders and healthcare workers.
Any Arizona first responder or healthcare facility can request complimentary Sending You a Hug postcards. To do so, please email Diana@madaras.com.