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Artist Shares Experience With Illness Through Art In Melrose

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"The Beast," one of Hinkle's colored pencil drawings illustrating her experience with fibro
"The Beast," one of Hinkle's colored pencil drawings illustrating her experience with fibromyalgia.

For years, Darlene Hinkle didn’t tell her friends and family about her struggle with fibromyalgia. Only through her art could she communicate her pain and anguish.

Now the artwork that helped her heal will be on display as part of the Melrose Art Walk.

Art Walk is a free event for people to see and experience the art of five local Melrose galleries. The event will take place Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will include live music.

This is the first time in more than 10 years that Hinkle will display all 72 colored pencil drawings. The collection chronicles her experience with fibromyalgia, a disorder that causes constant pain.

The drawings started as an independent project to help her through her diagnosis and rehabilitation, which is why Hinkle was hesitant to show people her art.

She would go as far as to hide them under her bed.

“For a long time she wouldn’t tell people, you know, that she had fibromyalgia, but she was eventually able to open up, and now she has gotten to the point where she wants the public to see her paintings, her drawings,” said Betty Bennett, president of Gallery 26 that is displaying Hinkle’s work. “So I think it’ll be kind of healing for her and maybe someone else.”

Now Hinkle realizes the power that her art has in communicating hope to others suffering from the disease.

“I want them to have hope that they can be okay. It’s a very devastating, crippling disease and it can kill you,” Hinkle said. “It can cause you to lose everything you have and I want them to know that there is a way to get through that and there’s a lot of things you can do so that you are where I’m at with it.”

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