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Hospice of Santa Barbara Hosts Solo Art Exhibit

Artist Angela Valente presents 'Fragile Tissues of the Heart'

Beginning this month, Hospice of Santa Barbara is opening the walls of its Leigh Block Room as an art gallery space.

Local artist Angela Valente will be the first one to display her work.

Hospice of Santa Barbara will host its first Solo Art Exhibition and Open House from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in the Leigh Block Room for guests to view and experience Valente’s exhibit, “Fragile Tissues of the Heart.”

The exhibit is Valente’s expression of her transformative passage through grief.

“In the space of three months, my brother died from an undiagnosed heart condition, while I was grieving the loss of my marriage and learning to live with a chronic illness,” she said.

The exhibition showcases the artist’s creative and powerful use of malleable artisan paper to explore the resilient, yet fragile, nature of the heart. Through her unique technique of tearing, layering and sculpting the paper, Valente creates pieces that appear both painted and dimensional.

“A cardiologist explained to me that our hearts are actually quite resilient. You can cut into a heart and it can recover,” Valente said. “I think this resilience is both emotional and biological. Creating this exhibition was my way to explore how our hearts can break and we can find our way to wholeness again.”

“Fragile Tissues of the Heart” is her invitation to walk through the spiral of grief and experience its transformative nature.

The exhibition is laid out in two adjoining spirals. The first loop with four large canvases explores the initial stunning and numbing stages of grief. The second loop displays much smaller canvases, gradually increasing in size, representing how we hesitantly take steps back into life.

Valente said you don’t end the exhibition where you began because after deep grief you’re located in a different place emotionally. The powerful canvases, some as large as 4 feet by 5 feet, breathe light.

Wine donated by Jordano’s Inc. and cheese will be provided, and 25 percent of all proceeds from Valente’s art sales will be donated to Hospice of Santa Barbara.

Valente’s work will be on display through March. In April, Dr. Daniel Joseph will be the featured artist. Joseph uses painting as a therapeutic way of expressing himself as he copes with Parkinson’s disease.

— Daniella Elghanayan is a publicist.

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