Friends turn shared experiences into art exhibit

GARDEN CITY — Artist Robin Valenzuela and Writer Angie Haflich, both of Garden City, will present (r)evolve, an art exhibit with a twist, tonight at Garden City Arts.

The exhibit features Valenzuela’s acrylic abstracts, along with prose written by Haflich. The art and the writings are about the emotions one feels before, during and after traumatic loss.

They came up with the idea for (r)evolve after realizing they had shared experiences.

“We were having coffee one day and got onto the topic of death because Robin’s mother had just passed away. We realized we had very similar experiences with loss,” Haflich said. “It sounds depressing, but we also realized we had learned a lot about not only death and loss, but life, ourselves and our loved ones through those experiences.”

Valenzuela agreed.

“Even though Angie and I laughed a lot, we found ourselves returning to the conversation of similarities in our lives and about the loss of loved ones,” Valenzuela said. “I had a scheduled art show for April, and over our coffee banters we fell into this terrific idea of combining my abstract work with her creative writing.”

Haflich hopes the exhibit helps people.

“I know how difficult it can be to lose a loved one, a job, a relationship, etc., so I hope this exhibit helps other people struggling with any of those things – to help them feel someone understands and that things will get better,” she said.

Valenzuela said she hopes the exhibit is relatable.

“I want others to know that life happens to each of us differently, but with so many emotions,” she said. “With my abstract art beside Angie’s words, I hope others will have a moment to connect.”

The show opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. today, Friday, April 5 at Garden City Arts Center, 318 N. Main St., as part of the First Friday Art Walk in downtown Garden City.

The exhibit runs through April 27 at Garden City Arts. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, from Noon – 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.