Saturday, May 27

‘Gratitude’ with attitude

USA TODAY Network has partnered with legendary artist Peter Tunney to create two original paintings that we have turned into animated NFTs for charity benefit. All proceeds will benefit equally Sunny center help people who have suffered the injustice of a wrongful conviction and the Gannett Foundation which supports community building initiatives across the country.

Not sure what an NFT is? Go here to find out

Tunney is known for his innovative use of mixed media and his work that evokes optimism and hope with simple yet powerful truths. His pieces can be seen from the streets of New York City, where dozens of billboards have lit up the skyline for more than a decade, to Miami’s Wynwood Walls, where he pioneered the famous colorful display of street art. His work is widely collected around the world by serious art collectors and well-known celebrities.

Tunney used original pages from USA TODAY and our network of over 250 local newspapers to create intricate and fascinating collages as the basis for these dynamic and NFT paintings. “Grattitude,” spelled with two t’s, as in the inseparable concept of “attitude,” is a limited-edition NFT on sale now for just $ 250 while they last. “LIBERTY” is a fiery tribute to the wrongfully imprisoned. The painting and singular NFT will be auctioned to the highest bidder. The auction begins on Monday, November 29 at 9 am ET and ends on Wednesday, December 1 at 8 pm ET. The auction starts at $ 50,000. The Sunny Center and the Gannett Foundation are equal beneficiaries of the proceeds of the campaign’s net sales (after offsetting for carbon impact).

This is an opportunity not only to own unique and cutting-edge inherited art, but to correct injustice and strengthen communities, and use art to help make the world a better place.


Visual journalist Pat Shannahan turned Tunney’s painting “Grattitude” into two different animations. You celebrate gratitude with bouncy, happy emojis; the other emphasizes Peter’s irrepressible perspective on “Attitude of Gratitude.” 250 individually minted NFTs of each animation are on sale until they are sold out. Don’t miss out on a vibrant digital animation of the outstanding artist’s painting.

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So what is there to be thankful for this holiday season? Honestly, a lot.

There has never been a better time to be genuinely grateful than this holiday season, one that comes in the immediate aftermath of a heartbreaking two-year global pandemic. In fact, we, as a society, are in a unique position to feel deep gratitude for our difficult times. Don’t waste this opportunity to improve your health and well-being by committing to making gratitude a daily practice.


Artist Peter Tunney looks at two works of art to be sold to raise funds and awareness of the issues surrounding wrongful imprisonment.

Sam Navaro, special for USA TODAY

Iconic artist Peter Tunney advocates for the wrongfully imprisoned

World-renowned neo-pop artist Peter Tunney began his journey in 1987, when he decided on a whim to change his name from investment banker. He says he told his friends that he would “now be an artist”, without any plans, “for no apparent reason.” He became known for his signature style, where he takes brightly colored words or short quotes that he paints over emotionally stimulating images from newspapers, magazines, and books that tend to evoke optimism and hope with simple yet powerful truths.

As lively and passionate as he is about art, Tunney is even more so when he talks about the people who some 15 years ago inspired him to get involved with the issue of wrongful imprisonment.

About the Sunny Center

The Sunny Center Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps people who have suffered the injustice of a wrongful conviction by providing support after they have been exonerated and released from prison. The organization was established by Sunny Jacobs and Peter Pringle, who were sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit. The foundation uses a unique holistic approach encompassing physical, mental and spiritual healing and ongoing support at The Sunny Healing Retreat Center in Ireland and Sunny Living Center in Tampa, Florida. For more information visit

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“I was so honored, so amazed,” he said upon learning of a young mother who was sentenced to death for the 1976 shooting death of a Florida Highway Patrol officer and his friend in Broward County, Florida. “Were you on death row? You? And now you are here and you are the most grateful person in the world? ”

That woman, Sonja “Sunny” Jacobs, was released after spending 17 years behind bars and went on to run The Sunny Center, where exonerated people can go to heal their souls after suffering the trauma of wrongful conviction and imprisonment, Tunney said. .

“She has every reason to be pissed off and she’s not,” Tunney said. “When these guys tell their stories, your problems evaporate.”

Tunney is dedicating his share of the proceeds from his latest artistic collaboration with the USA TODAY Network to The Sunny Center, creating the project from some 700 articles in some of the hundreds of Gannett newspapers across the country. Each touches on the subject of wrongful imprisonment or the concepts of freedom or gratitude.

Find out more about Tunney and his artwork here..

Convicted by mistake, she now dedicates her life to helping others like her.

Sonja “Sunny” Jacobs was mistakenly convicted and sentenced to death for murder in 1976. At the time, she was a 27-year-old mother, wife and daughter. In the 17 years it took to prove her innocence, she was left a widow, an orphan and a 45-year-old grandmother. When Jacobs was released in 1992, there was no idea that people could be mistakenly convicted, not even the word EXONEREE still existed. Later, Jacobs met and married Peter Pringle, who was also sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. Together, they founded The Sunny Center Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps people wrongly convicted heal and find health, happiness and hope after their release from prison. Often times, wrongfully convicted people are released without money, without help with housing or work, or mental health support. The Sunny Center Foundation helps rebuild the lives of those who have been harmed by our judicial system and our society.

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Reporter helps free innocent man

Brad Zinn, reporter for The news leader In Staunton, VA, she worked for years to help get Rojai Fentress released from prison, where she had been since she was 16 years old. Fentress sent 50 letters to the media from prison, and only one journalist responded and moved on. Zinn’s coverage, and his discovery of missing evidence in the case, led The Innocence Project to take over and further led to the surprise pardon from the Virginia governor.

Fentress spent 24 years behind bars. Zinn rushed to prison for release: “It was magical to see. When Rojai was standing in the parking lot, looking at the mountains, sitting on the grass, speechless at times, hugging everyone, it was emotional and powerful. Words don’t do it justice, it really is something you would have to experience to understand. “




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