Pat Lenz

Born  in New York, Lenz’ s education includes a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and the master's degree program Columbia University in New York. Before moving to Healdsburg, Lenz lived and worked in Napa Valley.  In addition to being a sculptor, she has put her artistic touches on several local businesses, such as the Hotel Duchamp, Duchamp Estate Winery and the Slaughterhouse Space where she has her studio.  One of her best known pieces locally is Nobody’s Poodle recently displayed at the Sonoma County Museum.

Pat Lenz

Pat Lenz


Pat Lenz, Heart/Broken


Heart/Broken was inspired by the following article with its description of a broken heart in the shape of a vase.

"Broken-heart syndrome" or stress cardiomyopathy, was first described by the Japanese about 20 years ago. This disease occurs when an emotional trauma causes the brain to release high doses of stress hormones. This hormonal blast paralyzes the muscle cells of the heart, preventing them from working to pump the blood. Typically only one section of the heart is spared this devastating paralysis — the part closest to the aorta so that with each heart beat only the upper portion contracts and the heart looks like a narrowed-necked vase. The Japanese called it takotsubo after a type of trap that is used to capture octopus and has the same vaselike shape.

There is no cure. There is no clot to bust, no bugs to kill. Like its metaphorical counterpart, the only treatment is support and the passage of time.

It's an interesting idea: perhaps the metaphors we use to speak of devastating loss grew out of physiological truth.

Adapted from:

Broken Heart Syndrome
The New York Times
June 18, 2006
Heart Ache