Artist Fights Personal Health Battle While Raising Money To Fight HIV-AIDS


Every two years, individual creativity goes to battle with the persistent foe of HIV-AIDS.

The champions are people who paint, sculpt, and take photographs – and then, donate money from their work.

“There's a sort of happy busy-ness to these surfaces, but I was inspired by images I saw of the world through a microscope,” says artist Denny Griffith.

Denny Griffith’s fascination with the world at its tiniest, cell forms, started when his dad was diagnosed with leukemia. The microscopic shapes he learned are now put on canvas.

“My work is about beauty, joy and color and texture and things I like to work with - but I don't mind the fact there's a hidden layer of meaning to it, that's personal to me.”

And every two years, he shares what is personal to him with Art For Life.

It’s an event that raises money to fight HIV-AIDS. When it was born in 1989, it was instantly close to Denny’s heat.

“I had immediate family and close friends that the virus killed.”

So 25 years ago, Denny joined creative colleagues in donating a piece of their artwork to raise money for the AIDS Resource Center Ohio.  

“Denny is one of the nicest guys I know. I called and said ‘Can you do this with us?’ He said ‘Sure, why wouldn't I?” added Emily Toney, ARC Ohio Special Events Manager.

Even though he has a cancer battle of his own, he continues to create and contribute.

“I have a health challenge, but you know, they always talk about positive attitude. I am living every day to the fullest,” says Denny.

That means helping other people make the most of their journey. It’s the years that Denny’s been part of Art For Life, AIDS deaths have fallen. But, there’s still a mission.

“(Every) 22 hours someone's newly infected, so we continue to fight this fight every day. It takes practice to do something well and Art For Life is now seasoned enough that it knows what it's doing and how to deliver the goods.”

“So, it’s a masterpiece,” asked 10TV’s Kristyn Hartman. 

“It's a masterpiece – exactly, right, perfect.”

Art For Life is September 13. The live auction is sold out but you can get a ghost bidder or tickets to vote on the silent auction.

Get more information at Art For Life