Every few months the halls of Throgs Neck Extended Care are graced with magnificent artwork helping brighten the lives of all who visit.
Christopher Della Valle, a six-year member of the center, was honored on Wednesday, September 3, for his unique contribution of art to the world.
“He is a wonderful man, a very good human, he’s so great with art and reading, he is constantly doing something everyday,” explains Liliana Martusevici, director of recreation at the center.
Councilman James Vacca attended the annual barbeque, held in the front courtyard of 707 Throgs Neck Expressway, to present Della Valle with a citation from the city council.
“Christopher Della Valle is living proof that growing old does not mean letting go of your talents,” expressed Vacca. “Christopher’s portraits are not just beautiful – they are windows into a rich and interesting life.”
Beginning his career at age 11, using oil paints, he sold his first cartoon drawing for 20 cents to a family member. Broadening his range beyond cartoons, Della Valle began creating portraits and religious icons.
Throughout his artistic career Della Valle painted works for churches and restaurants, sometimes creating wooden sculptures in addition to his drawings.
Known for his generosity, it was always more about the art than the money.
“I get a good feeling when I am drawing,” stated Della Valle, “I feel even better when I get to show them.”
Many of the other members present pictures of their loved ones, and Della Valle uses his talents to recreate the photograph for people to enjoy.
“I am proud as hell,” expressed daughter Grace Della Valle as she swelled with pride for all of her fathers struggles and accomplishments and the acknowledgement by Vacca.
Della Valle, and several members of his family, remains actively creative, always surprising and inspiring the audience with new works.