HANSON — Giving back to the community in more ways than one a Hanson man celebrated his third annual art exhibit Tuesday, Sept. 24 to lend a hand to others.
Joe Sullivan, 59, is nicknamed the “artist extraordinaire” by his family.
His love of art was applauded last week at the Meadow Brook Restaurant during his third art show to raise money for local charities.
An adult with disabilities Sullivan, is very active and is immersed daily in his community as both a volunteer and friend to others.
Sullivan lives in Hanson with his brother Bill and his sister-in-law Nancy in the home where he grew up.
“His favorite subjects are animals, objects, and people who have touched his life,” family members said. “Each art piece he has painted holds a special meaning in Joe’s heart.”
He has been drawing and painting with acrylics for the last five years under the direction of teacher and artist, owner Julie Quill of Sing, Explore, and Create in Rockland. He began his artwork at the Friendship House of Norwell a program that offers life enrichment programs for individuals with disabilities.
Joe’s friends, family, and teachers were present at the event, which was held at the Meadow Brook. Appetizers and desserts were served as guests mingled and talked to Joe about their favorite art pieces that they hoped to win from his collection.
The funds raised are being donated to two of Joe’s favorite charities — the Whitman Food Pantry and Sunshine Farm Sanctuary in Bridgewater “where hopes, dreams, and memories are made” a program that assists children residing in the Massachusetts Foster care system in the healing process resulting from experiencing trauma.
Mel Lambert of the Sunshine Farm Sanctuary was at the event along with her family. She said one of the highlights of Joe’s visit is seeing him interact with and give treats to his favorite donkey named Pumpkin.
All of Joe’s friends from the Whitman Food Pantry supported his event.
“He is a very happy guy. He loves all things Olivia Newton John and he collects cards among other hobbies,” said his brother Bill.
Joe can be seen regularly at Holy Ghost Church assisting with the donations and stacking shelves to fulfill the goal of helping families in need as part of the Whitman Food Pantry.
He participates in a different activity nearly every day of the week. He boxes at 110 Fitness in Rockland, he swims in a private program, and he rides along on tire deliveries for their family business Sullivan Tire, among his many daily adventures.
His art teacher Julie Quill said she was honored to teach Joe and to see his progress.
By participating in such an event he is both “paying it forward and sharing his work,”Quill said who has been a part of all three of his exhibits.
She said he picks out the type of drawing or painting and chooses if he wants to work with pencils or brushes at each lesson free to create his masterpieces.
Joe was returning to the drawing board as he continues his weekly art with a plan to begin his work for next year.