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Healing Artist


For sculptor Lia Strell, art is both creative and therapeutic. Her 15-foot-high Ribbon of Hope is the most recent addition to the Wolfstein Sculpture Park at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where it lifts the spirits not only of patients and families, but Strell herself, whose own parents are battling cancer.

“Art is created by people. We’re all trying to say something,” Strell explains. “What I am saying with my piece is we have to have strength. We have to have courage. And we have to have trust. And with that, all is possible.”

Strell, who’s been a full-time artist since the mid-80s after a stint as a film editor (she worked on the Prince film Under the Cherry Moon), believes there’s a powerful connection between optimism and healing. “Positive thoughts have a healing effect,” she says, “and being creative is very positive.” Working with rocks, glass, and metal, Strell also creates smaller sculptures and jewelry inspired by the movement of water and light. For her, the creative process links mind with matter. “Some people think that when you’re creating sculpture, it’s all with your hands,” says Strell. “That’s just one part of it.” She says “in the quiet” she asks questions “and the answers come.”

Strell is seeking a sponsor for her next project, a sculpture about the power of thought, using green technology: solar to light the sculpture and the wind to move it. (760/591-3637, www.liastrell.com)   Andrea Naversen


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