PLEASANTON -- To make it through life's up and downs, one has to have heart, that enduring symbol of toughness and love. It's one of the few things one simply cannot have too much of.
Or so says Sandra Kay, a Pleasanton woman who has turned her heart obsession into a massive photo collection of hundreds of heart-shaped objects.
Kay, the city's poet laureate, has planned an exhibit scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday. Titled "The Heart Seen ...," it will be held at Rick's Picks, a Pleasanton bargain store at 719 Main St. There, Kay will share nearly 200 photographs of her favorite image on the same night as the Summer Wine Stroll, an annual festival that showcases East Bay wineries at dozens of downtown Pleasanton establishments. Kay, a mother of two teenagers, has been collecting photos of found heart-shaped objects since 2006, when she stumbled across a cobweb with a similar likeness.
"It just stopped me in my tracks," said Kay, whose initial picture of the spider web quickly turned into a passionate hobby. She continued to find and photograph other heart-shaped objects.
She now has a massive amount of photos of just about any heart-shaped object, including food, pieces of carpet and even litter. Her friends and family have even begun sending their photos, adding to her huge collection. Now, she is ready to share some of them with the one-night event.
Kay, 47, said she has only one rule for the exhibit pieces: they must be "randomly, organically created" heart-shaped objects and cannot be intentionally made.
She said her fascination with the artwork stems from the joy of finding positives in the mundane moments of life. "There's love all around us," she said. "Every single one of the objects is a treasure in its own, there are no two alike."
Kay said she is holding the exhibit at Rick's Picks because it is much unlike an art gallery and the element of surprise will enhance the experience for visitors. "It's in the same spirit as that of a flash mob," she said. "It's impromptu, unexpected."
She is not concerned with turning a profit from the show but rather is focusing on one of her mantras: Take pictures, spread love.
"Whenever I feel angst or worry about any of the world's problems, which are probably too big for me to solve, I meditate and hear that message," she said. "Spread love -- that's the calling of my life."
What: More than 25 Livermore area wineries will showcase their wines, to be paired with small bites at different downtown Pleasanton locations. Each guest receives a wine glass and event map.
When: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $30 in advance (sold online, at Clover Creek, Pleasanton Hotel and the Berry Patch), or $35 in cash at door if available (sale begins at 4:30 p.m.)