The ‘Art’ of Charity at Firefly
Artists’ cooperative hosts Summer Gala
to benefit 'Splashes of Hope.'

July 06, 2011, Elise Pearlman

Although the is only a few months old, the cooperative that operates out of has already planned a gala to benefit those in need of an artistic “lift.”

Marianne Moreno, an oil and encaustic painter and Justin Mayer, a painter, sculptor and ceramicist, are the gallery’s artists of the month. The duo has organized the gala to shine a spotlight on Splashes of Hope, a non-profit organization in Huntington, whose altruistic objectives touched their hearts.

According to its website, Splashes of Hope was founded on the belief that art can play a fundamental role in the healing process. Not only can art in lobbies or entrances ease the fears of incoming patients, but art can be used as a therapeutic tool in pain management.

Since 1996, Splashes of Hope has brightened patients’ lives by bringing murals and other artistic works to medical and social service facilities around the world.



The gala is a way of reinforcing the importance of art to the community, and has enabled Moreno and Mayer to become part of an endeavor that is “bigger than ourselves,” Moreno said.

She was extremely impressed by Splashes of Hope’s accomplishments, Moreno indicated.

“They give murals to hospitals who can’t afford to put art on the walls,” Moreno said.

The Firefly Charity Gala will take place on Saturday, July 9 from 6-8 pm. Thirty percent of the proceeds from sales that night will directly benefit Splashes of Hope. Moreno and Mayer will also unveil a collaborative acrylic on canvas of a beach scene, which they will present to Splashes of Hope founder Heather Buggée and president Brian Yudewitz for placement in Northport Veterans Hospital.

The gala will also help raise awareness and get other people involved, Moreno explained.

“Splashes of Hope is always looking for volunteers to work on community projects and a sign-up sheet will be available,” Moreno said.

The Firefly Artists Gallery is located at 127 Main Street. The work of Cathy Nichols, Kate Sydney, Jennifer Stearns Lau, James Johansen, Joel Rodgers and Holli Gersh will also be on display. To RSVP for the event, send an email, or visit for more information.