The Art Of Healing Lives


Art can transcend language and culture; it can also help save lives.

That is the hope of Fresno artist Aileen Imperatrice, whose art pieces “Finding the best match” and “The Gift”, are on display at the Fresno Arts Council’s Gallery of the Gift. The exhibition, which ran for most of August, is a collaboration between the Arts Council and Donor Network West.

Most of the artwork that Aileen has produced over the last few years is inspired by the anxiety and worry that comes with illness, the sense of loss, and the frailty of human organs. But the two pieces that she submitted for this exhibition highlight the act of giving an organ to extend a life. “They represent a more hopeful view on organ donation,” she says.

It is personal for Aileen. Her husband, Tony, was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in 2002 and his life has since been defined by quarterly doctor check-ups, strict dietary restrictions, and health crises, which included a 10-day hospital stay during which he almost died. This past May, Tony’s kidney function fell to 20 percent and he was placed on the national waitlist to get a transplant. Continue reading
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