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Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Hospital gallery opening and Laguna pageant both picture perfect

Dick Heimbold with his wife, Ursula, stand by one of his paintings on display at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.
(Jane Napier Neely/La Cañada Valley Sun)

It was a lovely summer evening when the Healing Arts Committee of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital hosted a reception July 25 for artist Dick Heimbold, introducing his works to patients and the public in several gallery venues throughout the hospital.

Guests gathered in the patio to sip cooling beverages and nibble on an offering of finger-food ranging from fresh fruits, a selection of cheeses, crisp beautiful veggies including delicious asparagus sprinkled with sesame seeds. I must admit the slices of fresh watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple were very tempting.

Heimbold is the sixth artist to be featured by the Healing Arts Committee. More than 30 of his paintings are on display at the hospital through October.

Keith Hobbs, the hospital’s chief executive, stepped to the microphone to welcome guests and announced USC-VHH recently received two special awards, the Lantern Award for excellence in nursing and the Choi Award that was given to the hospital’s emergency department.


Sue Wilder, co-chair of the Healing Arts Committee, thanked guests for attending the reception. She mentioned the wonderful effect the art galleries have had on everyone who experiences them, including staff, patients and visitors.

Heimbold also stepped to the microphone to talk about his art and how his passion for oil painting began. He has spent his work career in mechanical engineering, but he always loved painting. He is a multidimensional artist; he’s also written a couple of novels.

He led the guests on a personal tour of his artwork held on two different floors. Much of his work is centered around familiar places right near our community. He is a colorist and paints with bright colors that gives many of his paintings a “happy” look.

If you get a chance, do stop by the hospital to see his art. It will make you happy too!



A volunteer actor in Pageant of Master’s presentation recreates an Empire style clock figure of the 19th Century in Laguna Beach.
(Jane Napier Neely /La Canada Valley Sun)

Speaking of art, I made my annual pilgrimage to the Laguna Festival of Arts’ and its Pageant of the Masters. The event, which opened on July 7, runs through Aug. 31 and it is not to be missed.

This year the Pageant of the Masters is celebrating its 86th year with the theme “The Time Machine.” The first pageant ran for only eight days. In the present 86 performances are staged over several weeks.

Located on the Festival of Arts grounds, this is one of the most unique theatrical productions in the world. Presented are incredibly faithful recreations of classical and contemporary works of art with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces.

Mind you, if you choose not to see the pageant there is an amazing fine art show of artists who live in or near Laguna Beach, and on display are every kind of art — oil, watercolor, photography, sculpture, jewelry and so much more. It is an artistic feast for the soul. The artists are on site and you can chat with them. It makes for an amazing day.

You can bring your own picnic to enjoy on the grounds or dine at their restaurant. And if the art isn’t enough entertainment, there is an ever-changing group of musicians performing many different genres of music.


We are in the summer doldrums. Stay cool, my friends and we’ll visit here next week.


Jane Napier Neely covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.

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