In the sleepy, almost suburban parts of Western Flushing, veteran painter Paul Franzetti, lives as an excellent example of the many selfless, altruistic-minded Queens artists making the most of their talents for others.
Franzetti, in addition to serving as a longtime English professor at Saint John’s University and as an AP literature teacher at Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village, is a man possessed with an artistic muse to help the less fortunate.
Franzetti’s primary passion is to use his art to alleviate the sufferings of the poor, sick, and disenfranchised.
Franzetti specializes in painting and producing art calendars consisting of all original work in his ongoing efforts to raise money for the poverty stricken sick of Damien House, a leprosy hospital located in one of the poorest regions in all of South America, Guayaquil, Ecuador.
It has been the main recipient of Franzetti’s artistic endeavors since 2006. The house has been run by its founder Sister Annie Credidio since the early 1990s. Having received no support from the Ecuadorian government since its inception, Damien House relies solely on charity.
Franzetti’s enthusiasm for aiding the institution and its founder is a labor of love, he said.
“Sister Annie’s world, although circumscribed by a cloister-like hospital, walled in from dangerous Guayaquil, containing victims, good souls, suffering in varying degrees with Hansen’s disease, too kind a term for the dreaded leprosy, is a microcosm of a mystically larger universe,” he said in written statement. “My world of canvas and carnal dreams and the wonderful vistas of the Galapagos, with its tropical exotics, its smell of the Pacific, its cactus and iguanas, its sea lions and tortoises — frankly, it seems small and colorless against the broad goodness of this one woman.”
Franzetti’s art can be viewed at franzettiart.com.
hll who wish to contribute to Damien House can reach the institution directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.