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In its latest edition, Love Lost, Miami continues its varying healing and connecting journey to the depth of our hearts

By Yulia Strokova, Samantha Schalit

Photo by Natalia Santander

That night, Green Space at 7200 Biscayne Boulevard looked unlike a typical community gallery. A long queue patiently waited for permission to enter; it felt like a room no one’s lived for a long time but left behind, mistakenly or purposely, something precious and sentimental – a diary, feathers, postcards, a key. Seventeen deeply personal artifacts and accompanying narratives found in space shocked and warmed visitors with their frankness and intimacy. Strangers became unexpectedly close. They all talked about love…lost, gained, broken, and healing.

Love Lost, Miami is an annual exhibit that reveals the strings of heartbreak living in our own backyard. They take the shape of unfinished stories and broken bridges, deserted homelands, missed opportunities, endured trauma, unexpected heartbreak, and peaceful resignation.

“At the core of the exhibit are ordinary objects in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Exhibited together, in dialogue with each other and the audience, they take on a different lived experience and a communal mosaic of human emotion, colored with shades of heartbreak, love, anger, fear, hope, gratitude, even humor,” says Natalia Martinez-Kalinina.

Along with Paula Celestino and Maral Arslanian, Natalia has been curating this project since 2016, but as they say every year, “Love Lost surprises at the mercy of the submissions they receive.”

This time, a few common themes surfaced, such as the sudden loss of a family member, the loss of innocence, loss of identity, secrets exposed, lost love and hope gained.

“The stories reflect a large range of, once hidden, collective emotions that create a symbolic embrace filled with gratitude. It leads to love and the acceptance of every aspect of life,” says Paula. “Over the years, we’ve seen on how technology evolves the ways we connect, or sometimes disconnect. Still, the core of human experiences remains the same.”

Maral adds: “Witnessing people be surprised at how much and how deeply they connect with strangers: it is truly healing and moving.”


Featured artists: Rebecca White / Johannie Llano / Janet Mueller / Patty Suau / Paula Simonetti / Alette Simmons Jimenez / PJ Mills / Tori Scott / Pablo Matute / Andrea Garcia / Niki Lopez / Marvin Weeks / Sarah Stinson / Justyna Kisielewicz / Jayme Gershen / Solange Sarria / Nicolle Cure / Drew Deng

Below you may explore the five artworks we've found the most impactful and profound in its narrative expression. The author's text is published in its original version.




Buenos Aires, Argentina

A Lifetime


I walked into her house, full of trinkets and ordinary, yet memory-drenched, things. The house where she outlived her husband, where she lived her last years on her own. I kept this suitcase full to the brim of string, but within it a secret she drew, folded, and tucked away. Deep at the bottom of its pocket, a small envelope with what feels like an origami fortune - you know, the ones we played with when we were kids.

Maybe she thought he'd outlive her. And as he looked through her things he'd come to find she knew all along.

Both living, then leaving, with a secret untold.



Patty Suau


82" × 72" X 40"

Graphite, Wood, Mirror

My dear friend, what I would do to feel the smile as you kiss my cheek to say hello.



Niki Lopez


11"' × 5" × 7"

Mixed Media Sculpture

This piece addresses the healing journey. Shadow work, personal development and healing the body, mind and soul from the insides. Inspired by the kintsugi art - "of being broken and put back together." The idea all parts of self are necessary to acknowledge our strength and resilience in spite of our struggles, life and traumas.