Philanthropist and Artist Michael Godard Paints with Purpose
Rock star of the art world, Michael Godard, is known for his signature appearance and “naughty” olive characters. His irreverent paintings reflect the fun side of life, where olives play games of golf and spend their nights enjoying a glass of wine.
However, beyond his entertaining and often silly style, Godard expresses a more serious tone through his strong desire to help others. As a well-known artist, Godard uses both his fame and his popular paintings to support numerous charities.
“It’s something that resonates in my heart so strongly, and I tell people all the time that, you know, my life really isn’t about my art at all.” Godard says. “My art is a vehicle to do something in the world that will make a difference.”
Godard has been an active philanthropist for years, working with numerous charitable organizations from The Ronald McDonald House to The Sharon Osborn Colon Cancer Foundation. For Godard, giving back to others establishes an authentic meaning for his artwork.
“We’ve all had those moments at 3 o’clock in the morning like, ‘Why am I here? What have I done to make the world a better place? Has my life just been all about me? What am I truly doing that has made a difference?’” Godard says.
Above all the tremendous charities Godard supports, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital is the organization with the strongest connection to the artist. Godard’s loyalty to St. Jude’s comes in part from their promise to never turn away a child due to lack of financial means. St. Jude’s also played an intensely personal role in Godard’s own life when his daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer. At just 16 years old, Godard’s daughter passed away in 2006.
“They were also very instrumental in my own daughter’s battle with brain cancer, so they have a very special place in my heart,” Godard says.
After losing his own daughter to cancer, Godard now fights to help other people’s children. One method he uses to support St. Jude’s is his “Hearts for Hope” collection. For every painting that is sold from this collection, Godard donates a portion back to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
“Truly, it’s just the most amazing thing I can do with my life,” Godard says. In fact, when people ask him what he does for a living, Godard doesn’t say that he is an artist, he says “I am a philanthropist.”
Through his frequent philanthropy work, Godard recognizes Park West Gallery’s role in supporting his causes.
“Park West has allowed me to share my story about my daughter, and you see people’s tears well up in their eyes. Not so much for feeling sorry for me or my daughter and my experience, but thinking about their own experiences and their own lives, and they can really relate to it,” Godard says. “When you can touch someone’s heart and touch someone’s soul and pull on their heart strings, you can do amazing things.”
Godard is also very involved in supporting the Armed Forces. He has paintings hanging in the Pentagon and every aircraft carrier in the United States. Lately he has been working with charities that specialize in assisting veterans such as Wounded Warriors and Dogs to Dog Tags.
Dog to Dog Tags, a charity that partners veterans with support dogs, also inspired a few new artistic creations that Godard showed to Park West online collectors during one of our recent live-stream telecasts.
Godard explains further, “What this organization does is they take soldiers that have been wounded either mentally, physically, emotionally, and align a dog with them that becomes their partner and it really changes lives.”
When people view his work, Godard wants them to create their own story behind the painting, especially for this charity artwork. To create a real connection with his audience, Godard knows, it’s not about what [the painting] means to me, it’s what it means to you.”