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Blog: Stories and Insight

Samaritan Employee and Artist Hopes Art Brings Hospice Patients Peace 

Joe Boccolini has been a Samaritan employee for 18 years. He is a welcome presence and valued member of the Samaritan team. He has  decided to share his artistic talents and is featured in our Art in Healing exhibition, curated by The Perkins Center for the Arts, displaying at The Samaritan Center in Voorhees.

He is one of the 8 artists displayed at the center to help provide a calm, home-like environment for patients and families receiving care. 20% of proceeds from sales of art exhibited are donated to support the care that Samaritan provides.


Joe Boccolini On Art Inspiration and the Art of Healing

What inspires your art?

I find most of my inspiration comes from nature. There’s so much beauty, even in the most mundane things, that goes unnoticed because we’re too busy to take a moment and appreciate the wonder that’s around us.

“Autumn’s Majesty” by Samaritan’s Joe Boccolini

How do you feel art helps seriously ill patients?

This is tough to answer, as I believe that everyone’s interpretation of art is such a personal experience, and different pieces elicit different responses. That being said, I’m a huge

proponent of creating, regardless of how “good” or “bad” you think you are. They’re subjective terms. It’s the feeling one gets from bringing forth something that didn’t exist before that I believe would be extremely beneficial to seriously ill patients.

How has art helped you heal?

It’s kind of escapism, almost. Most times when I’m working on a painting, I become so absorbed in trying to put my ideas on canvas that everything else just fades into the background. It’s like therapy for me, personally. Sometimes it’s a struggle, most times it’s a thrill. But it is always a release.

What do you hope your art helps Samaritan patients and families?

“Snowy Morning” by Samaritan’s Joe Boccolini

I sincerely hope that Samaritan’s patients and families can find peace, serenity, and tranquility in my work. To me, that would truly be the measure of a successful painting.

What pieces did you submit?

I was privileged enough to have two pieces selected. The theme for this exhibit was “Fall/Winter”, so I have displayed “Autumn’s Majesty” and “Snowy Morning” to represent each season.