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February 2017 People

February, 2017 Issue

How to Save a Life

Five minutes can feel like an eternity when someone’s life is on the line. In 2014, that’s how long Forestville resident Lewis Griffiths performed CPR on his father, Steve, before EMTs could arrive and administer emergency first aid. The then-13-year-old learned a method of hands-only CPR from classes at Forestville Academy, and successfully administered it to his father—who was suffering cardiac arrest—saving his life in the process.

The form of CPR Lewis learned was hosted by Save Lives Sonoma, a nonprofit association of paramedics, firefighters and volunteers that offers free training to students and adults in partnership with a multitude of educational districts across the North Bay. Without that training, Steve’s chance of survival would’ve plummeted.

In January 2017, the Griffiths were two out of 14 riders on a float named “Keep the Beat Alive,” created by Union Bank and the American Heart Association. The float was created to raise awareness for CPR training and its importance at a time where heart-related problems are the highest cause of deaths in the United States, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control. The float joined a parade at the 2017 Rose Parade in Pasadena, and honored a new law that provides CPR training to thousands of high school students each year.

The float itself was a 55-foot long floral piano keyboard, and among its four floral drums sat a heart-shaped DJ booth. The musical elements represented the beat of the heart and the correct compression rate for CPR administration—a rhythm of 100 beats per minute. A CPR dance team comprised of 28 high school students walked alongside the float and engaged the audience with a CPR-inspired dance.

Expressions of Love

Christian Quintin is an artist of many mediums. Originally from Brittany, France, and now based in Santa Rosa, he creates the majority of his works in pen and ink, pastel and acrylic. His pieces are often large, bright and colorful in nature. “An artist feels compelled to create,” Quintin explains. “It’s not so much of a choice.” Quintin trained for a time at the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but recognizes, “While you can take the techniques you learn, you still have to do the work yourself.”

Quintin creates from what he feels and sees in life. “My style came from expressing my feelings, and as a result the subject matter is always flowing. There are no boundaries. Often the work is an expression of love. At first I would have said that my style is surrealist, but that’s putting a specific label on it, and I think it’s much more than that.”

Quintin also says he doesn’t lack inspiration to create. “For me, creating is a constant flow,” he says. “I do one piece after the other.” He recognizes that his work may not necessarily appeal to the masses, but those who don’t inherently like his work tend to recognize the craft.

“People have good taste. They always want to buy your best work. There’s a sense of a loss when you sell a piece, but then you feel inspired to create again. If you keep drawing what comes to you, you get good at accessing that creative place,” he says. “If you continue, you’ll eventually get past the litany of negative voices.”

And while Quintin may not have a specific message he wants to convey with his work, hopes to bring people “a moment of unadulterated beauty and peace.”

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