The Valley Line: Beauty of nature captured in local woman’s paintings now on display at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

Spring has finally made its belated appearance, at least weather-wise. The three-day rainstorm and subsequent cooler temps here in the foothills made me wonder if it really was going to be spring.



Some very spring-like events have happened in the neighborhood. First up was the opening of USC Verdugo Hills Healing Arts Council’s new gallery show featuring well-known La Cañada Flintridge painter Marijane Hebert.

Hebert’s gallery of oil paintings, beautifully framed, enhance the hallways of the hospital where the public can see and enjoy them through the end of June. The individual art pieces are for sale and a portion of the sale will be donated to the hospital to help in the research of breast cancer, at Hebert’s request.


Her paintings reflect her appreciation of the natural beauty she sees around her. Scenes from Descanso Gardens, the vineyards of Napa Valley, pastoral landscapes in China and still lifes of bouquets of flowers and bowls of fruit are just a few of the subjects that have come to life on canvas through Hebert’s keen eye and expert technique.

Greeting guests at the March 8 show opening were hospital VIPs Keith Hobbs, chief executive; Julie Shadpa, art therapist; and Sue Wilder, chairman of the hospital’s foundation board.

When guests arrived they were entertained by the soft jazz sounds of the musical combo known as Satin Trio, students from Glendale Community College.

There was an amazing display of foods prepared by Sodexo Catering. The food tables were artfully arranged and offered an array of specialty gourmet cheeses, crudités and meats. The chefs were helping people choose the tasty tidbits to add to mashed potatoes served in martini glasses. Among the potato toppings were two different kinds of gravy, chives, butter, sour cream, bacon bits, mushrooms and shredded cheese, just for starters. For a potato-lover like me, this was heaven!

Art therapist Shadpa explained how important art is to lighten the spirits of hospital patients and how art can facilitate healing and well being. She also mentioned that the art is also appreciated by the hospital staff who gain inspiration from the different pieces hung throughout the hospital.

Hebert thanked guests for their attendance at the gallery opening and shared that she had seen firsthand the benefits of art in healing the sick. Before she became an artist, she was a nurse for several years.

All community members and guests are welcome to enjoy Hebert’s art at the hospital.

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It was definitely an important spring-like happening when the Oakmont League held its biannual fundraising fashion show and luncheon at the Hilton Hotel in Glendale.

The event, held March 10, was chaired by Nina Ratliff and Jackie Kubel. It raised $76,000 for the League’s charities, including Hillside School Learning Center in La Cañada Flintridge, Glendale Community College Disabled Students Programs and Services; scholarships to five local high schools in the Glendale and La Cañada unified school districts, as well as Glendale Community College students continuing their undergraduate studies at a university or college.

“The Magic of Spring” was the theme for the event, which featured a boutique of many vendors before the luncheon was served and the fashion show presentation by Robert Ellis Boutique.

Stephen Ratliff and Michele Gile, a KCAL news reporter, were co-masters of ceremonies

Lydia Brown-Trout, president of the League, stepped to the podium to greet the nearly 300 guests, and she then introduced Fr. Mike Javor of Good Shepherd Church, Long Beach, who gave the invocation.

Receiving special honors that day were club members Judy Mendicina, a member of 14 years, and Nina Ratliff, a member for 22 years. They were introduced to the audience and invited on stage to receive their award statues.

It was a full day of fun, good food and beautiful fashions.

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The La Cañada Thursday Club’s club’s recent luncheon featured USC Verdugo Hills Hospital’s Keith Hobbs, who talked about the many improvements made to the hospital over the past few years and was excited to talk about the just-opened neonatal intensive care unit.

Also sharing the luncheon spotlight was Christopher Luke Jackson, director of the geropsychiatric unit of the hospital, who spoke on “Aging Smarter” and provided many good tips on remaining strong and healthy while aging. He explained the benefits of seeing a geriatrician for those in their mid-60s and older.

Jackson also gave a brief description of the legal documents, regarding the handling of one’s assets and medical decisions, that are very helpful to have in place.