“Mechanical Heart III,” by artist Ann Dearsley Vernon, is part of the Sentara Heart Hospital art collection.

Ann Dearsley Vernon, Director of Education at Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum for nearly 30 years when she retired, recently took up painting again.

“For 28 years, when I walked outside my office, I was surrounded by Matisse and Renoir and many of the great masters. I didn’t quite have the same story I wanted to tell,” says Vernon.

“After my heart surgery, my head was just full of dreams and vision, and I wanted to tell this story,” Vernon continues. She is participating in a heart study underway at Sentara Cardiovascular Research Institute.

In Vernon’s paintings, themes of rainbows and angels consistently make their way onto her canvas. Rainbows represent the resurrection, and Vernon shares that she’s been visited by many angels during her treatment. At the time of one procedure, a friend meditated on her behalf and a rainbow appeared over Norfolk at the time. Rainbows also reappear in Vernon’s art.

Sentara Heart Hospital is one location where Vernon’s art can be seen and appreciated. “Mechanical Heart III” is now on display at the Sentara Heart Hospital, just off the main lobby. Stop by and enjoy the piece.