The Massey brothers bring
hope to children throughout
the world, via colorful art projects
by LISA ALCALAY KLUG
rothers Ed and Bernie Massey
may just be the most innovative
“florists” on earth. Their brightly
colored flowers adorn every-
thing from a tugboat in New York’s
Hudson River and fire trucks in
Colorado to a historic airplane celebrat-
ing the ;;;th anniversary of flight at
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and a
;;;-foot blimp sailing coast to coast.
But the Massey men’s installations
represent much more than playful
optics. Their nonprofit, Portraits of
Hope (POH; portraitsofhope.org), partners with volunteers to prepare their signature paintings. They install completed
panels as public art to send a message of
optimism anywhere, including animal
shelters in Los Angeles; an elementary
school and sports arena in Osaka,
Japan; and a hospital in Mexico City.
Every project promotes one grand
Airship is the largest
flying public art
project ever created.
idea: Working together effects positive
“It’s all about teamwork and collaboration,” says Bernie. “We are following a
family tradition. Our mom started as a
social worker and instilled values of caring about your fellow man and woman.”
A puzzle project with many pieces
Since ;;;;, the Masseys, who are
Costco members, have collaborated on
more than ;; large-scale installations and
many smaller ones worldwide.
More than ;;;,;;; participants of all
ages, corporate sponsors, scout troops,
foundations and volunteers have joined
group painting sessions at rehabilitative
centers, the Braille Institute, Special
Olympics, universities, after-school programs and classrooms.
“Grades ; to ;; are really our sweet
spot,” says Bernie. “In every project, more
Portraits of Hope founders
Bernie Massey (left) and
his brother, Ed.