The Eclectic Collective Love Collaboration, held on Sunday, featuring the “heART” installation of “Love Triumphant” by artist Kenneth James, provided an opportunity for everyone to honor and remember an event or person. It allowed people to share their pain and heal through the action of placing a handmade paper heart into a silver tray.

This heart installation event was held on Sept. 11 at The American Legion Post 13 in Pasadena. Each person had a chance to enjoy the artist’s art pieces and attend three workshops presented by Kenneth James, veteran, USMC.

“My art has been a therapy for me since 1989 and that’s when I really got back into creating again,” said James. “So that when I came back to creating, that was as a therapy and it saved my life several times. Probably, way more than several times.”

The way James views his life and the world around him has always been influenced by his experiences as a veteran. The artist has struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression because his life was full of drama and heartbreaking situations. Suicidal thoughts and difficulties that he faced forced him to change his way of thinking and the only way he could express his feelings was through art.

Hearts are featured in most of his works and James uses their shapes to create a bigger picture. The artist presented seven different art pieces at this healing and remembrance event. His paintings all portray a personal emotional story of either the very deep pain he felt when he was ignored by society or his hope and faith for a better future.

Prior to this event, 15,000 hearts have already been created by him and others. James plans to make a million of them for his future events and he hopes to see people giving their hearts and love to the community.

“You can’t love other people if you can’t love yourself first,” mentioned James.

The healing event was organized with a lot of help from volunteers and artist’s friends. One of them was Lucy Meseberg, a veteran and a member of the American Legion family in Pasadena.

“Everybody who came here including veterans and their family members, people of all kinds come up to me and say, ‘This is great, thank you’ and we’re happy for that,” said Meseberg.

Realizing the fact, that this event gives a chance for people who have something in common to get together and honor a memory that calls for healing or prayer, makes everyone feel the atmosphere of support and peace in there.

Participating in The Eclectic Collective Love Collaboration is a different way to show your love and support to the world. By putting a heart into the tray, people are sharing a piece of their own heart.

Everyone there was excited and thankful to be a part of something more than just an installation.

“I’ve known Kenneth about a year now. I think his art is really amazing,” said Kenneth’s friend Melissa Delgado. “The way he can express himself through his artwork, especially after everything he has gone through, to be able to do all of this is just really amazing.”

Free food was provided for everyone who purchased a drink at the “Black Cat Tavern.” People were welcome to come in any time to enjoy the paintings, participate in workshops, or to honor the memory of 9/11, or any other heartbreaking event.

Anyone, who was interested in buying Kenneth’s art can find his paintings online. The artist also has a Facebook profile.


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