New Seasons' Pass Print by RI Artist Mike Bryce
Each year for the past 14 years, the Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) has engaged local artists to create a piece of artwork for community volunteer blood donors who give the gift of life four or more times in a year. On March 2, RIBC will unveil its final "Seasons' Pass Program" print and announce a new program that continues to reward the life-saving work of blood donors.
This year RIBC worked with local artist Mike Bryce, who knows first-hand how important blood donations are to patients. He explained, "When I was younger, I worked in several local hospitals and often visited the hospital's blood banks to pick up and deliver the blood to patients who needed it." All of that blood came from RIBC donors.
The oil painting Bryce created is the perfect wrap-up piece for the center's Seasons' Pass Blood Donor Program, as it subtly incorporates all four seasons into the painting. A blood donor himself, Bryce chose to paint a scene known today as College Hill from his hometown, the East Side of Providence. Describing the piece he says, "Timeless Thomas Street, with subtle seasonal transitions, reminds blood donors of the year-round need to give the gift of life. Beginning with the a robin alighting upon the fence above tulips and daffodils, we move from spring to the summery sunflowers and daisies. Entering fall, the leaves and petals catch flight in an autumn wind, breezing past a pumpkin by the door stoop, giving way to gentle snow flurries dancing before the wreath-adorned Providence Art Club." RIBC communications manager Kara LeBlanc says, "Creating a piece that reminds people of the year-round need is the perfect way to wrap up the Seasons' Pass Program."
Donors who presented to give blood four times between March 1, 2016 and February 28, 2017 can pick up their frameable Michael Bryce original print at any center or blood drive starting on March 10, 2017.
The Seasons' Pass program artwork graces the walls of tens of thousands of Rhode Island blood donors and blood drive sponsors. During its tenure, the program was a unique way of sharing beautiful Rhode Island artwork to remind donors of the equally beautiful cause of saving lives with blood donations. LeBlanc says, "Based on feedback from the donor community, RIBC will begin a new program designed to increase frequency of donations that offers donors more choices -- from gift cards to blood donor t-shirts and apparel -- based on the number of donations someone makes in a year. "It's particularly important to begin to increase the blood donor base and encourage more frequent donations," explains LeBlanc, "because over 370,000 people in Rhode Island are eligible to donate blood, but only about 5 percent of the population is actually giving. Over 200 units of blood need to be collected every single day. That is a tall order being fulfilled by a small number of people."
Platelet donors, for example, can donate platelets as many as 24 times a year and can give up to three platelet donations each time. Double red cell donors are giving twice the blood products each time they donate, and the new program compliments giving these types of apheresis donations that allow the center to collect just the component of blood patients need the most. The program will also be set up to encourage donors to give twice during the summer months, a particularly difficult time of year for blood collections. More details about specific items one can choose based on their giving frequency will be coming soon on ribc.org.
More About Artist Mike Bryce:
From The Foundry Artist Shows to Providence Artisan's Market, Bryce's work is instantly recognizable and can be found all over Rhode Island. For fourteen years, Bryce was a professor of fine art, illustration and design, teaching at Mass. Art and the Art Institute of Boston. Currently, he is a full time fine artist, exhibiting throughout New England in many galleries and festivals and is the president of the Foundry Artists Association.
The community is also invited to join Bryce for "50 Years Colorful," an evening of friends and fine art to kickoff Bryce's 2017 art show schedule. The event will be held on Saturday, March 4, from 5 pm to 8 pm at Dryden Gallery in Providence. The original painting will be on display throughout the month.