Broken hearts 

Visual Arts

A silhouette of a woman, crouched, head hung low. A yellow light in square dabs of paint, merging into olive green. Is the light her hope, or the truth of her despair? In “Regrets,” a painting by Herron School of Art student Parvaneh Yamin, we can easily project generally or specifically into it, but Yamin’s intentions are clear: This painting is about coronary heart disease. “Waiting till it’s too late! Coronary heart disease is not usually reversible,” reads the artist’s statement.
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“Regrets” is one of 34 works of art by (mostly) Herron printmaking and painting students who took on the challenge of creating art that sheds light on the devastating toll of heart disease on women. Heart disease is said to be the leading cause of death among women, and by the time it is diagnosed, it is often irreversible. The exhibition A Woman’s Heart, on view at Herron School of Art, is intended to promote awareness of the impact of heart disease on women and their families.

Artists are often called upon to build bridges of awareness between causes and the general public; an ironic phenomenon given the fact that fine art is not always the most accessible medium for conveying information. But efforts such as these suggest that sometimes a greater purpose can elevate both the impact of art and the value of knowledge, and they can work hand in hand towards some common good. Heart disease, it should be pointed out, has historically been viewed as a “man’s disease,” and yet it will claim the lives of more women this year than AIDS and cancer combined, according to Elisabeth von der Lohe, MD, a cardiologist at Krannert Institute of Cardiology. Clarian Health Partners and von der Lohe instigated Clarian’s Women’s HeartAdvantage, a program intended to educate women on the risks of heart disease via grass-roots work in the community.

Thus A Woman’s Heart was born: a collaboration between Women’s HeartAdvantage and Herron’s Lithography 11-V and Painting II classes, under the tutelage of David Morrison, associate professor of printmaking, and Marc Jacobson, associate professor of painting. Organizers plan to display this collection of thoughtful and well-conceived art at venues such as The Taste of Indiana (Aug. 27-28), American Heart Walk (Sept. 11), Methodist Heart Day (Sept. 28) and Colts Walk (Oct. 16), with other locations to be announced.

Visit A Woman’s Heart at Herron Gallery, Herron School of Art July 24 and 25 from noon to 4:00 p.m., 1701 N. Pennsylvania St. Call 923-2413 for more information or visit to view the works online. For a free membership to Clarian’s Women’s HeartAdvantage program, call 916-3525 or visit

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