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 Studio Diary

Photos by Christy Kerr Photography LLC

It was a great honor to be chosen to paint renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in front of the prestigious Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, FL. Dr. Andrews has dedicated years to preserving the careers of numerous athletes and advancing the field of orthopedic surgery.

The journey began when Dr. Gregory Hickman, who has worked alongside Dr. Andrews as his anesthesiologist for the past 30 years, reached out to me. Dr. Hickman wanted to commemorate Dr. Andrews’ illustrious career as he stepped into retirement. I painted Dr. Hickman's three children many years ago and was so pleased to hear from him again!

Dr. Andrews with his anethesiologist of 30 years, Dr. Gregory Hickman

From the outset, I knew this painting had to encapsulate not just the likeness of Dr. Andrews, but the very spirit of his contributions to medicine and sports. The Andrews Institute, a beacon of hope and recovery for countless athletes, served as the perfect backdrop. Its significance to Dr. Andrews’ career made it essential to incorporate its grandeur and symbolism into the portrait.

Starting work on Dr. Andrews' portrait, I was impressed by his numerous achievements. While I usually like to establish a personal connection with my clients, I was tasked with creating this portrait as a surprise tribute to him. Despite not having the opportunity to meet him in person, I found a wealth of information about Dr. Andrews online, from interviews to professional photos. During the unveiling, I realized why I had to rely on these images. Dr. Andrews, a remarkably modest individual, would have felt uncomfortable with the portrait process. Moreover, given his hectic schedule, he was unable to spare much time for the unveiling event, swiftly moving on to his next meeting after graciously attending the ceremony and party.

Held at the Andrews Institute, the unveiling was attended by colleagues, friends, and family who had come to celebrate Dr. Andrews' remarkable career. The atmosphere was filled with admiration and gratitude, a testament to the countless lives he has impacted through his expertise and dedication.

When the drape was raised to unveil the portrait, the applause and smiles spoke volumes. Dr. Andrews beamed with satisfaction upon seeing that we had depicted him wearing his Auburn championship ring - a choice made from several options, including an honorary Super Bowl ring! With his lovely wife Janelle's wholehearted approval, I felt confident that I had truly captured him. The event was a wonderful success, a fitting tribute to a man who has given so much to the world of sports medicine and whose legacy will continue to inspire future generations of medical professionals and athletes alike.

Dr. James Andrews and wife Janelle at the unveiling ceremony in Gulf Breeze, FL

This blog post is dedicated to the legendary Dr. James Andrews, a true pioneer in orthopedic surgery, and to Dr. Gregory Hickman, whose vision made this tribute possible.

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