Joseph Gormley, the artist of the latest edition of Posters by the People, has never been to Seattle. He lives in the Miami area, about as far away from the Emerald City as you can get within the United States.
However, the avid soccer fan has been a Sounders FC supporter for many years.
“That’s my MLS team,” Gormley said of the Rave Green. “Florida didn’t have one until this year, and even now, Orlando is a four-hour drive from where I am. Miami will get one, but I don’t have a connection with that team. My connection is with the Sounders.”
A native of Scotland who moved to the U.S. in 2003, Gormley fell in love with the Sounders five years ago while watching them play on TV in a friendly against Celtic FC, his hometown club.
This season, a poster made by a Sounders supporter is unveiled to commemorate every home match. Gormley created the matchday poster for Seattle’s first-ever encounter with Orlando City SC on August 16, joining a talented group of artists that includes Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
For Gormley, his love of art has intersected with his interest in charitable giving. Years ago, his portrait of former Celtic player and coach Neil Lennon raised $8,000 for the cancer treatment of an 11-year-old girl in Scotland. From there, he knew his art could benefit others.
“That’s when I realized that this could be a new journey for me,” Gormley said. “A lot of people don’t ever find their path. I’m lucky that I’ve found mine.”
Gormley’s habit of helping others through his paintings has turned into a lifestyle. His ultimate goal is to raise $1 million, all of which will be donated to charities. Two and a half years into the journey, Gormley has already surpassed $200,000.
“My whole goal is to collect friends, not money,” he said. “A lot of people have lots of money in Florida – there are celebrities and sports stars. I’m all about making a reputation.
“It’s not just me. I can’t take credit for everything. I’ve surrounded myself with good people. To me, that’s way more important than money. Fame comes at a price, and I don’t want fame. I just want a reputation. I just know that if I put the time in, the rewards will be amazing.”
Gormley’s creations are hand-painted Acrylic on canvas. For the matchday poster, he chose to feature his favorite Sounders FC player, Clint Dempsey. Below the star forward on the poster, Gormley left lots of empty space so that Dempsey could autograph it without interfering with the art. You can purchase Gormley's poster here.