Art is therapeutic and can be used to restore a broken hearted to a healing heart. Valentine’s day can be a somber reminder of heartbreak or love lost. Enter artist Raub Welch. His artwork has exhibited worldwide and caught the eye of Oprah, who owns one of his collage works. He is also an interior designer and events planner via his business Very Raub Galleries and Interiors. His holiday events are an ode to Afro-Opulence.
Five years ago, after a failed long-term relationship, Raub turned his heartbreak into The Artist’s Luncheon for Valentine’s Day. It featured eight hearts representing the stages of love. The je’taime heart was illustrative of when he told his lover je’taime and he responded “ditto.” Raub said, “That was when I knew the relationship was ending.” The peeling heart signified the layers of love. The heart attack was heart break. The abstract heart shows how we compartmentalize love. The black and white heart suggests how we try to box love in black or white terms, but it is never that simple because love has hills and valleys. The cloudy heart symbolizes when we are either in the clouds over love or so overwhelmed by impeding lost love that we are in a fog. The heartless heart was black on black. The lonely heart is when the relationship is over and you are alone by yourself.
Every year since then, Raub has hosted a Valentine’s luncheon with artwork available for purchase. This year his hearts exuded a vibrancy. Raub said, “It is symbolic of renewed love, the innocence of a new love, and a fresh beginning. It’s about being open to new opportunities. That’s why the silhouettes are of young people with hearts atop. It’s all about LOVE!”