I had the great honor of creating a 3' x 5' commissioned painting for the lobby of the new Mary's Center, that opened in May of 2011 at 3912 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington,DC. My concept for the large canvas was to create a scene that reminds us that we are indeed one big human family, by using the image of a large tree, that unites the figures. I included many nationalities as well as a diverse depiction of ages of men, women and children.
The original Mary's Center was started in a basement in 1988 by Maria Gomez who was working as a nurse at the District of Columbia's Department of Health. Maria witnessed the large increase in the Latin American immigrants coming to the US to escape war, poverty and death. Many of her female patients had been raped and arrived in the United States without prenatal care. With funding from the DC Mayor's office on Latino Affairs and the DC Department of Health, she started her first basement clinic.
Over the years, Maria who is currently the President and CEO of Mary's Center, gradually moved from the basement clinic to larger facilities to provide help to a wider population of the uninsured in Washington, DC. First lady, Michelle Obama, honored Maria Gomez, by making her first DC community visit as the new first lady to Maria's clinic in 2009. Now the new Georgia Avenue center is a Federally qualified Health Center that provides health, social and education to the under-insured and uninsured population of metropolitan Washington.
Visit their website at www.mary'scenter.org for information about donations or volunteer opportunities.