The Valley Line: Great American Eclipse and ‘Healing Arts’ exhibit both create stirs in the Foothills

This was an exciting week! Solar eclipse mania was felt throughout our country, which on Monday experienced the first total solar eclipse visible from coast to coast since June 8, 1918.

Hundreds of people turned out at the Griffith Observatory to view (with special glasses, of course) the "Great American Eclipse" that occurred from 9:05 to 11:44 a.m.


I understand that schoolchildren throughout our valley had the opportunity to partake in the excitement during specially planned campus activities.

In preparation for the big event I checked out the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's website. "Anyone watching the path of totality can see one of nature's most awe-inspiring sights — a total solar eclipse. This path … will stretch from Salem, Ore., to Charleston, S.C."


I had my special solar eclipse glasses at the ready even though here in our valley we only saw a partial eclipse. But that was still a thrill.

If I had gotten my act together sooner I could have made plans to visit former La Cañadans Julie and Doug Wilson, who now live on the outskirts of Charleston and viewed the full eclipse.

Lance Benner, a JPL scientist who is friend of mine, took a fly/drive journey with friends to Idaho to see the total eclipse. He is also a fine photographer with all sorts of technical camera lenses. He will be sharing his photos with me soon.


Earlier this month there was a highly anticipated event at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. The hospital, under the direction of chief executive Keith Hobbs, Julie Shadpa, hospital art therapist, and Sue Wilder, chairman of the USC VHH Foundation Board, unveiled its Healing Arts exhibit that showcases the work of local artist Vincent Takas.

A lovely reception was held in the patio just outside the hospital's fourth floor council rooms. A three-piece jazz combo played as nearly 100 guests gathered to view Takas' vibrant watercolor artwork.

The works, shown in three different areas of the hospital, are nicely framed and beautifully exhibited. Takas has captured many familiar scenes of our Foothills as well as places throughout the world he has visited on his many travels.

Hobbs said, "Our new exhibit is one way of providing comprehensive care and a nurturing environment for patients and their families."

Takas, who was more formally dressed than I usually see him at the Montrose Farmer's Market on Sundays where he displays his paintings, was radiant as he said hello to guests and told of his art journey and the background of several of his paintings. He said it was an "honor and privilege" to share his artwork with patients, families and others at the hospital on Verdugo Boulevard.

The hospital kitchen certainly showed off their fine cuisine skills by preparing a delightful feast for guests including three different kinds of risotto, salads and desserts.

The exhibit will be on display in the hospital through December. This was just the first of planned art exhibits that will feature area artists.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.