Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Cancer Survivor Shares Art As Part of Her Journey


Linda Jokes II left her executive career in Las Vegas, Nev., four years ago after her third bout of neck cancer. She had just had major surgery where her fibula (leg bone) became her jaw. She and her husband bought a house in Albuquerque and moved here with their 14-year-old daughter Gabby, Jokes ll told The Paper. in a recent interview.

“I left my corporate career behind to work on myself. Walking again, talking again. Really rehabilitating myself and getting back to my artistic roots.”

“I couldn't find any furniture or decor in any of the “big box” retailers that would fit the style of our home,” Jokes ll said. She finally found different, older pieces of furniture. “I began painting them and they turned out so beautifully, all of a sudden other people wanted me to paint their furniture.”

Initially, she set up a studio in their home to work from, and then rented a booth space for a while. When that location closed, she decided to open her own shop. “I did quite a bit of due diligence, finding like-minded artists and people that wanted to come into this space with me.” She currently works with nine different artists. “It was such a blessing that I found such wonderful people.”

Jokes said her store Juxtaposed Boutique at 5200 Eubank Boulevard NE Suite 7 is an interesting model that nobody really has seen, especially in this area. “It's not a defined space. I have some furniture artists, an antiques dealer and an aromatherapy and skin care products maker. We agree on the amount of merchandise that is brought in. I give themes and design aspects. They bring it in; I curate it and decorate.”

There are a variety of themed vignettes set up throughout the store with different artists’ items, but it looks like one cohesive space. “We have an area that looks like a room of rustic items. Another corner is a camping theme right now. I have a clothing area. We have a spring display with lots of florals and pinks.”

Jokes said she feels that sharing her cancer story is an important part of her journey. “I'm happy to share it because I feel like other people may read things or find things out who are going through similar circumstances and maybe they find a bit of hope.”

Her last operation was in 2018.  How is she feeling now? “I'm getting wonderful. I'm feeling great.” Reconstruction was somewhat difficult particularly when it comes to speaking. “Once in a while there's still some difficulties with certain words or people not understanding but that's okay. Could be a lot worse,” she said.

“Everybody knows somebody these days who has lost someone from cancer. I just pray that they find a cure sooner rather than later, because I truly believe it's an unnecessary disease.”

Jokes ll said Juxtaposed is honored to celebrate all Mothers by offering an array of unique, personal gifts — from aromatherapy gift baskets and dried lavender bouquets to soft clothing and guitar strap handbags. “We truly have something for everyone,” she said.  They also offer gift cards, paint classes, and gorgeous handmade cards sure to please the most discerning.  




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