Officials at Santa Clara University are thrilled about EMD Properties owner Ed Dowd's recently announced $12 million donation to help build a new building for art and art history on his alma mater's campus. The 43,500-square-foot building, expected to be completed by 2016, will include gallery space, classrooms and a sculpture garden.

The Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building also will include in its lobby a sculpture by glass artist Dale Chihuly, whose work can be seen at various venues around the country including the San Jose Museum of Art and the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. This was no random choice on Dowd's part.

Dowd, who has a substantial art collection at his San Francisco home, has battled multiple sclerosis since 1993 and has been receiving treatment at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation's Mountain View facility. He funded a public art project there, and insisted that a Chihuly sculpture be installed. Afterward, he heard from grateful patients who described the healing power of the piece, and it also brought some measure of attention to the facility and Mountain View itself.

It's Dowd's hope that Santa Clara University's art programs receive the same kind of attention as a result of the Chihuly installation.

"Art transcends all time and seems like a great cause to me," Dowd said in a statement released by the university. "I have a desire to use my resources to create a better world, and I feel a world filled with art is a far more enjoyable place."

TAKE A HIKE, CUPID: If Valentine's Day sets your blood boiling instead of your heart fluttering, there are a couple of events where you can find like-minded company.

This Friday, the community gallery Works/San Jose brings back it's (Anti) Valentine's show, featuring work from more than 50 artists with their not-so-romantic takes on love. The show opens with a reception Friday at 7 p.m. and continues through Feb. 22, when a closing (or is it really a breakup?) party will be held.

Meanwhile, the Crowne Plaza Palo Alto is appealing to the single crowd with its Anti-Valentine's Day Party on Feb. 14. There will be signature cocktails with a decidedly un-Valentine's theme and "Bitter Bites," plus a "Conversation Heart" piñata and a best/worst "I Got Dumped" story contest with a $50 prize.

The party's scheduled from 8 to 11 p.m., and you can get tickets for $25 at http://cppaloaltoparty.brownpapertickets.com. Married couples should probably avoid it unless they want to stop by a divorce court the next day.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/spizarro.