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Art Saves – Heart & Home • by Kerri Stabile

As a graphic artist, I have always been attracted to symbols and iconic imagery. Stars and moons, birds and wings - shapes that are immediately recognizable and familiar always seem to make their way into my artwork. In 2008, when my marriage ended and I almost lost my home, simple house shapes and bird's nests were recurring symbols in my work, as I struggled to keep my house. In addition to the peace I found by pouring my emotions out on canvas and in my art journals, my works during this time were also my message to the universe that I refused to give up.

Painting Hearts for Avery
In the spring of 2009, I began painting hearts almost exclusively - not because my own heart was broken but because of my niece whose heart was, quite literally, broken. Avery was born with a congenital heart defect, and by the late fall of 2008, at age 4, she had already undergone four open-heart surgeries since birth to correct it. That fall, Avery's aortic valve replacement failed, and it was the beginning of a very long and, at times, grueling journey for Avery and her parents, as she suffered two cardiac arrests and underwent several more surgeries (at Children's Hospital in Boston) before it became evident to all that her little heart could no longer be repaired. In June 2009, Avery was put on a VAD (ventricular assist device), or Berlin heart, to buy her time to wait for a transplant, and on August 6 of that year, she received a life-saving heart transplant. Three months later, on October 23, she returned home. With the exception of a five-week break in February and early March of 2009, Avery and her parents had spent a whole year in Children's Hospital. Avery is now a very happy 6 year old with an amazing appetite for life. And I continue to paint hearts. One painting hangs at Children's Hospital in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, a gift inadequate to express my gratitude to the amazing women and men who do what they do there every day. Many hang in the homes of friends and family. And all of them helped me to get through long days when I felt I had nothing else to offer my niece but hope. Art Saves.

To learn more about Kerri Stabile, visit


What a beautiful, encouraging story. Blessings to you, your niece and family.

What a heartfelt, amazing gift you have! I am so happy you
listened and used your symbols to voice your true calling!
Avery is a doll; I am so happy she is able to live an active life! Our souls whisper all the time; It is important we pay attention and listen to our heart's true essence~

congrats on being a guest curator here Kerri! I love your work and I love your story!

Beautiful story despite your trials and tribulations in your life and the battle little Avery has fought, once more we see how art can save us and fill our heart with love and hope. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for sharing a link on mine during your time as a curator. :)

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