Six art pieces sat on easels in front of a sea of tables at the Sand Canyon Country Club on Friday. Each art piece depicted the theme of building hope. Behind every art piece, there was an artist and single mother involved.
Single Mothers Outreach held its signature fundraising event, “Empowering HeArts,” on Friday, honoring six single mothers and showcasing the work of six Empowering HeArts artists. Through this art, the hope is others are inspired to rise above their own circumstances.
Single Mothers Outreach is a nonprofit organization that utilizes its platform for single parents to voice their challenges, needs and concerns while providing essential resources to struggling single parents.
Kathy Gonzales, former president of the Santa Clarita Artists Association, received a call one day from a board member asking her to be a 2023 Empowering HeArts Artist. Gonzales was hesitant at first due to her busy schedule, but eventually said yes.
Gonzales was paired with Imelda Lozano, one of the single mom honorees, to portray her and her daughter Isabella’s story through her art.
Gonzales asked Isabella, “What does hope mean to you?”
“She was quite funny,” said Gonzales. “When I asked her, she said, ‘I hope I go to Disneyland.’”
“She really loved her dog and that’s why a dog is in my artwork. You’ll see a dog and then the butterflies (a butterfly was required to be in each art piece) in there and she wanted flowers, so I put flowers.”
Isabelle requested the flowers, but for Gonzales and Lozano, the flowers had a deeper meaning.
Before having 10-year-old Isabella, Lozano was pregnant with a boy. Unfortunately, due to complications, Lozano was not able to bring him into the world.
Later, Lozano got pregnant with Isabella. Lozano feared that what happened to her baby boy would happen again and she told no one of her pregnancy.
Her worst fears started to become true as doctors told her that Isabella would not make it to full term. Lozano then had a dream.
“I had a dream about my other child that I lost,” said Lozano. “I had a dream saying that he was going to take care of that child, that just to go ahead and have her. That she’s gonna survive and that it was a girl. It was a girl.”
Hope brought Isabella into the world.
“I do things because I get moved by it,” said Gonzales, “so it was difficult to do something and when you’re doing it for somebody else, and you hope you do it justice.”
Gonzales’ art depicts Lozano’s journey through motherhood and the joy her daughter brings all while encapsulating the theme of the gala: Building Hope.