Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hospice of Santa Barbara Showcases Art's Meditative Potential

Hospice of Santa Barbara helps patients to reach the end of life with dignity and compassion, offering free counseling and care management services throughout the community. The nonprofit provides support to grieving individuals and families at locations such as school campuses, and it further connects with the community through events at the Leigh Block Gallery. Named in honor of the late Hospice of Santa Barbara board member emeritus Leigh Block, the gallery frequently showcases the work of local artists who delve into themes such as grief, loss, and the journey of life. 

Hospice of Santa Barbara presents art exhibitions on a quarterly basis and features occasional special engagements. On August 2, the organization hosted a special one-day exhibition of local artist Dr. Daniel Joseph, whose experience living with Parkinson’s disease inspired a series of impressive creative works. 

Parkinson’s: Along the Road to Hope

The exhibition, titled Parkinson’s: Along the Road to Hope, was an inspiring demonstration of hope and perseverance. Soon after retiring from a long career in medicine in 1999, Dr. Joseph learned that he had Parkinson’s. While the disease’s progression eventually made it difficult to accomplish simple tasks, Dr. Joseph took up painting at the suggestion of a friend and found a new passion. He discovered that his hand did not shake while he was painting, and the art form soon became a meditative practice, leading him to attend art classes and hold exhibitions at many local venues. Inspired by years spent working at his father’s flower shop, Dr. Joseph mainly creates oil paintings of flowers, though his subjects also include wildlife and his family members.