Sunday, May 1, 2022

Patti’s Spirit Lives On

 by Lonnie Burstein Hewitt. Photos by Lonnie & Maurice Hewitt.


A still from the 10-minute video loop at the entry to the Patti’s Spirit Lives! exhibition at ICA Central in Balboa Park. Patti’s daughter Molli, who created the video loop, remembers her mom heading straight for the Y-site, saying: “Why not? We should always ask Y.”


Patti’s Spirit Lives! —a special exhibition celebrating the life and art of Patti Cooprider (1940-2021)—was recently on view through what would have been her 82nd birthday weekend, April 27-May 1, 2022. Patti’s artworks may have left the walls of ICA Central, but her spirit remains in the hearts of all those who knew her. Here are some of the images you could have seen at ICA.

 Another Patti pose.


Patti with her husband of 62 years, “Coop” Cooprider.


An assemblage of some of the thousands of hand-painted cards Patti sent to friends during her lifetime, sharing a wall with several of her son Kyle’s artworks (see below). Friends sent in their cards to be part of the exhibition.

Ten of Patti’s colorful paintings.

 There was a Patti’s Spirit Lives! Donor Preview on the evening of April 27, but none of the art was for sale. “What we were selling was Patti’s dream,” Cooprider said, quoting something he had heard his wife say many times: “My dream is that every child in the world experience the creation and love of art.”

Through ICA, a charitable fund has been established in Patti’s honor to provide free arts experiences to underserved young San Diegans with ArtReach, A Reason To Survive, Art Bus Xpress and other ICA partners. Many donations have already been made to Patti’s Spirit Lives KidsArtEdFund, and you can add your own by contacting Gaela Fernandez Florin, ICA’s Director of Advancement at It’s a lovely way to ensure that Patti’s spirit lives on.


The Great Wall of Patti’s Spirit Lives!

Lonnie Burstein Hewitt is an award-winning author/lyricist/playwright who has been writing about arts and lifestyles in San Diego County for over a dozen years. You can reach her at

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