The Great Heart of Daniel Damiani by Stacey DiTata
First published in the BAJA NEWS. Look for it on the October stands or at your favorite hangouts.
Daniel Damiani is a renowned artist who studied in Florence, Italy and spent five decades as a professional painter. Now retired, he lives in Rosarito. He has donated four paintings to La Mision’s local animal charity Baja Exiles. The paintings will be featured in the silent auction at the TOOTIE show “Puttin’ On The Glitz” on October 9th 3-7:30 at The Puerto Nuevo Hotel & Villas (KM 44.5). His paintings along with other impressive silent auctions items will be set up in the hotel lobby. Proceeds from the silent auction and event will support Baja Exiles’ spay and neuter clinics at El Rancho Exilio which provide free clinics to locals in La Mision.
Daniel Damiani hopes his paintings fetch a big purse. He is a compassionate man who has a deep commitment to people and life. Throughout his life he has shared his art and artistic vision to improve his communities. With US funded art grants he has taught art to locals in impoverished communities particularly in San Juan. He lives by example to better the esteem and life of people and animals around him. It is this, the great heart of this man that for me is the greatest prize of his work.
He and Cindi Kirchhoff, Founder of Baja Exiles, are friends. In a personal letter to her, he recalls his life “in other times and many places”. He colorfully starts in Carmel rescuing “critters” with Doris Day and Kim Novak. His friendship with old movie star Ginger Rodgers “who was so kind and generous to me.” To his life in San Juan: “How the people of Bayamon loved me for teaching them art, supplying materials with the USA grant given me, how receptive and kind they were that I could see potential in their impoverished lives… and I did make a small difference to their self-respect and esteem they justly deserved…”
It is this sensitivity and connection that has made him more than a great painter but a greater human being. In ways radiant like the impressionistic paintings he creates, he transforms the world to light. For one who can transform sadness to hope, impoverishment to abundance is the artist. And we can all strive to be that.
Daniel Damiani and Cindi Kirchhoff share the same passion to bring lasting improvement to the condition of homeless street animals. Baja Exiles’ free spay and neuter clinics dramatically reduce animal overpopulation. So far this year, 146 surgeries have been performed that means 1752 animals will not contribute to animal overpopulation this year alone. (Statistics courtesy of Baja Spay Neuter Foundation).
The free clinics at El Rancho Exilio are provided by your generous donations and support of events like the one on October 9th. Help us work toward a world like the one Daniel Damiani aspires where all living things have a sense of respect and importance. This can only be achieved through our sensitivity and compassion.
You can purchase one of Damiani’s paintings as a BUY IT NOW for $350. This offer is until Oct 9th when the painting, if unsold, will become part of the silent auction at the TOOTIE show. www.bajaexiles.com/donations/daniel-damiani-oil-painting-buy-it-now/
Tickets to the upcoming fundraiser “Tootie and The Gals: Puttin’ On The Glitz” can be purchased online www.bajaexiles.com/tootie-tickets-2017
For more information on the work of Baja Exiles and ways to donate, visit www.bajaexiles.com