New and fruitful partnership of two Bay Area artists-activists –
to benefit the unsung universal cause
Two talented women-artists - unconventional fashion/Trashion designer Nic Griffin and music educator and avid Women’s Heart advocate Rozalina Gutman had met at the “Expressions” Gallery" ** They had quickly found out that they share the boldness in their style of making their artistic statements about the pressing need for change. So, their collaboration for creating a wearable art piece on advocacy for Women's Heart subject was very a natural at this inspiring juncture of their artistic paths. And they felt even more mutual resonance, when both Nic Griffin and Rozalina Gutman discovered that they have another thing in common – like many other women they had shared with each other the dramatic stories about heart disease from their own lives' experience. Nic’s mother had been a victim of a heart disease at the end of her life...
This unspoken, yet deeply shared feeling of camaraderie against all vices that still make it possible for the heart disease to continue to prevail over many women’s lives and to lead in the saddest “top 10” of the medical charts, made Nic’s and Rozalina’s creative partnership grow strong and to turn into the successful production of an iconic artistic statement in a form of an outfit that fits the great ambitions of universal reach and matches it with its uncommon bold expressive power to awaken everyone and to disseminate the feelings of great unity and community power among the advocates for Kindness-based hospital policies towards women's heart complaints, whose calls to prevent illogical cruelty against women should be heard. That is the true real reason why this luxuriously looking, one of kind evening gown, hand-sewn by Nic from the recycled black umbrellas “masterpiece of all contemporary evening gowns” had manifested into the natural magnet for every eye. This "eye candy" was conceived to stir up the thoughts in every mind, while making the hearts of everyone around it beat with the hope in its next incarnation – now topped with another amazing embellishment in a form of the large red heart pendant, made from the recycled Valentine candy box and adorned with the recycled unused medical tubing and catheters, elegantly wrapped with the tiny pulsating electrical heart-lights. All of these puzzling details are destined to provoke conversations among many curious spectators, so such statistics as "MORE WOMEN DIE FROM HEART DISEASE THAN FROM ALL CANCERS COMBINED" & "1 IN 3 WOMEN DIES FROM HEART DISEASE OR STROKE" become more known among various parts of population.
It all started with another inspiration… following the moment when Rozalina read the announcement about the soon upcoming grand celebration for the classical music community, the Gala for the 70th Birthday of her local musical scene icon - Russian- and Yiddish-speaking conductor of San Francisco Symphony Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas. And indeed, who would appreciate this bold rebellious artistic strive more than him, the popular socialite with the polished smile on his face and better known to the inner circles for his own rather dramatic life-long history of being an unconventional rebel and the instigator of the creative innovation in his own right. Of course, that is why MTT’s progressively-minded crowd promised to be the best audience that would be able to appreciate Nic’s and Rozalina’s debut of their bold artistic statement of re-defying the boarders of the existing genres and expressive tradition and innovation in fashion and music. Thanks to the rewarding thought of appearing at her icon’s Birthday celebration, all of many necessary extra preparations were well worth it… And so, that’s how Rozalina instantly made her decision to celebrate her relative recovery (after the earlier car accident with the drunk driver that followed by the sudden heart attack). That was a great way to try to focus on the positive thoughts of celebrating her personal memorable milestone - by returning to San Francisco Symphony after several years of daily struggle to restore her life back to normalcy. That is why, her appearance in the noticeable outfit that would provoke many opportunities to start the important conversations, was the most natural decision for rather crowd-shy Rozalina.
Three, two, one… Let the magic begin through the hands of the designer!
The spark of MTT’s inspiration kept two artists charged, as it began manifesting rather quickly in the atmosphere, shimmering with imagination, collaboration and experimentation that fills up Nic’s amazing studio, located at the top of picturesque San Francisco hill. It was a real treat to enter into the space, where the multitude of the most “uncommon” for a high fashion designer supplies are magically transformed into the elegant and highly detailed long gowns, playful short-skirt dresses and at times, most “unthinkable” puzzling and fun wearable art pieces and outfits – each of them amazingly unique, and all of them with the statements of deep meaning and awareness reflection.
When Nic pulled out some unused medical tubing and brought unused catheters, Rozalina was quite mesmerized by Nic’s story about how she had salvaged the unused, unfitting and discarded by the hospital medical supplies. Now, they were to be used again, but in the most unusual new role of being a center piece of the evening gown - to symbolize the connection to the pressing medical cause in her Women’s Heart Advocacy outfit. Nic’s story about these recycled materials’ rescue brought up the vivid memories of the most special place where it happened, that both women had enjoyed visiting tremendously. It was at the local Amma’s temple…
And, it was the nurturing “accompaniment in the key of Amma” to their collaborative experimental handwork that quickly gave birth to the idea of the unique very large heart-pendant that would be visible from afar not only due to its large size and red color (the official color of the campaign “Heart Truth” and “Red Dress” led by the National Institute for Health, NIH, and “Go Red for Women” campaign of American Heart Association). It was to be electrifying (and therefore, electrified too) and capable of catching attention instantly, according to Rozalina’s bold advocacy agenda, and helping her overcome her hidden shy nature. The great creative solution about how to mount the recycled heart-candy box cover and to incorporate the string of sparkling red heart-lights came to both of the artists in a shared Eureka-moment, that Nic had executed with all of her technical virtuosity and the impeccable sense of elegance.
And finally… Lights!.. Camera!.. Yes, the tiny heart-shaped lights were successfully wrapped around the heart-box, affixed, adjusted and … turned on, sparkling in two modes! When the newly made elegant large red Women Heart-pendant was ready to top the black recycled umbrella gown, the spirit of successful re-purposing shined instantly in this creative outfit with the multitasking meanings – to symbolize the expression of great love to Maestro MTT from the all-city music community, to remind everyone of being creative and environmentally-sound in their daily choices, and of course, to celebrate the virtues of the hearts of women, whose lives and legacies make the special difference to each of us. Now, the twice-recycled and repurposed dress that speaks in a bold Trashion style, was ready to be enjoyed by many audiences, starting with the debut at the creator’s most cherish Bay Area social venue of San Francisco Symphony, in the company of music aficionadi and socialites of “the city by the Bay”***.
Compassion = saved women’s lives!
Kindness and compassion must return to be the focus of the policy of the hospitals and the 1st responders
The excitement of having a custom-made outfit for her community outreach outings was indeed, medicinal and healing for Rozalina. And, while looking forward on this fairly new for Rozalina path, she had an instant answer to the question about the most desired location to wear this Women’s Heart dress Rozalina: among her many plans to wear this stirring mind and soul outfit at various Bay Area fundraisers and benefits, she hopes to come and to lead her sing-along at Amma’s temple no later than during her next arrival to the Bay Area in June, asking Amma for her very special blessing. Indeed, it may take the magic of Amma's awakening to help restore the vital substance of any healing process - the sincere kindness back into he fabric of the hospitals. She will dedicate Amma’s unforgettable embodiment of lovingkindness and compassion - her miraculous hug, to ALL women. And she will picture in her mind the UNITY with all women throughout the world and their families and loved ones, who had been the victims of the undiagnosed and untreated heart disease, which actually really “...does not care about what you wear”©, according to the National Institute for Health, NIH. Indeed, during the time of the next several decades, while the new gender-specific research is just beginning to harvest the scientific data to inform various aspects of Women's Heart cure and diagnostic, kindness-based attitude towards any women's complaints that may be the sign of a heart problem, MAY NOT BE CONTINUED TO BE DISMISSED,
but instead should be attended patiently and respectfully.
To help raise awareness about Women’s Heart fatalities, Rozalina Gutman also invites artistic contributions/collaborations on the subject of women’s heart and related matters for the artists of all walks of life, genres, styles and various media.
** Please, visit “Expressions” Gallery" where the wearable art pieces of Nic Griffin and other designers are currently on display.
"Expressions Gallery" is the best kept neighborhood secret and the great resource for the unique gifts, as well as the nurturing home for many local artists in Berkeley, conveniently located right by Ashby BART station.
*** Rozalina Gutman had been creative about using the transformative power of music to help serve the innovation - some of music's original purposes of being a catalyst of collective action and helping the ideas become memorable ("This Is Your Brain on Music" by Professor of Neuroscience Dan Levitin). Read more about Sing-Along Women's Heart Campaign Song
© January 2015, Help Heal Her Heart
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THE PROCESS OF ...RE-PURPOSING
THE NEXT SAN FRANCISCO FASHION SENSATION -
HIGH T R A S H I O N - STYLE !
ROZALINA GUTMAN, AVID ADVOCATE OF WOMEN’S HEART, TO DEBUT NIC GRIFFIN’S UNCONVENTIONAL EYE-CATCHING TRASHION-STYLE WOMEN’S HEART-DRESS AT MTT’S 70TH BIRTHDAY GALA
JANUARY 15, 2015 AT SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY HALL
Special thanks to the distinguished pianists Emanuel Ax and Marc-Andre Hamelin for showing their support for the cause of Women's Hearts >> >>
"Heart disease does not care about what you wear"
© National Institute for Health