The Blog

Just When You Believe It's Over, in Fact It Can Just Begin

At 73, art hit me like a piece of the Eiffel Tower. I was in a state of "philanthropic burn out" at the time, a phrase often used by unrelentingly working founders of a charitable organization.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

At 73, art hit me like a piece of the Eiffel Tower. I was in a state of "philanthropic burn out" at the time, a phrase often used by unrelentingly working founders of a charitable organization. I decided that I needed the oxygen of a sabbatical, and went to Istanbul for two whole months.

The freedom from routine, the colors and exotic scents shifted something inside of me, at first imperceptibly, then with gathering force. When I returned, the sorrow of losing my teenage son that caused me to establish the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation (that helps single parents of terminally ill children in a financial crisis) had clearly changed.

After 16 years, I rejoiced over a lightness of spirit and energy. I was not yet sure what to do with. Then something happened as I was on a long, and tedious phone call. I was diverting myself by putting pretty objects together on my desk. After the conversation ended, I looked at this assemblage and remember thinking, "This is actually rather good." Within days, I was consumed with gluing and patching and collecting and drilling. I was soon fortunate to have gained the attention of a famous artist who has never had a student before, and I was honored and enriched with new technique.

Assemblage not only became a passion, but, lo and behold, a new way to produce revenue for the foundation. This occurred only a little over a year ago, and I can hardly describe the excitement I feel about having my first solo show as artist.

2015-01-21-55copy.jpg

The "The Curious Art of Valerie von Sobel" is exhibiting at Voila! Gallery in Los Angeles from 2-7 to 3-7. I hope you will judge my art kindly, and send me a wink of approval. I intend to let you know if it was a success.

Popular in the Community