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Lilly Oncology on Canvas art exhibition on display at U-M Cancer Center

Date Visible: 
02/29/2012 - 1:15am

Written by Nicole Fawcett

Traveling exhibit comes for three weeks in March, featuring art by cancer survivors

Ann Arbor - Lilly Oncology On CanvasSM, an art exhibition honoring the journeys people face when confronted by a cancer diagnosis, will be on display at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center from March 5-23.

This free public exhibit, which is touring communities nationwide, will showcase about 50 select pieces of art from the 2010 Lilly Oncology On Canvas competition. The exhibit will be on display at the Voices Art Gallery on level B1 of the Rogel Cancer Center. A reception will be held in the gallery from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 12.

"We're very excited to bring this exhibit to the University of Michigan. The stories that these art works portray will be insightful, powerful and inspirational to those who see it," says Margaret Nowak, MSA, MEd., ATR-BC, LBSW, an art therapist at the U-M Rogel Cancer Center.

The Cancer Center's Art Therapy Program provides a therapeutic outlet for patients and their families, using art materials as a form of expression. Research has proven that art making has a positive impact on pain management, depression, anxiety and stress reduction. For centuries, art has served as a healing tool, fostering self-awareness and coping skills. The Voices Art Gallery displays artwork created by cancer patients, survivors or families.

Launched in 2004, Lilly Oncology On Canvas is now showcasing art from its 2010 competition. This biennial art competition invites people from the United States and Puerto Rico diagnosed with any type of cancer as well as their families, friends, caregivers and health care providers to express, through art and narrative, the life-affirming changes that give their cancer journeys meaning.

The themes explored in the more than 600 entries submitted to the 2010 competition included hope, fear, the loss of individualism, the support of family and friends, the memory of those lost, and the perseverance of those who survive. In 2010, nearly $40,000 was donated to the cancer-related charities chosen by winners. The traveling exhibition of art is currently touring hospitals, cancer centers, patient advocacy group events and other venues nationwide.

The U-M Cancer Center created its Voices Art Gallery more than a decade ago to give individuals the opportunity to share their experiences of living with cancer. The artworks chosen for the gallery tell individual stories that inspire, encourage and educate others who are experiencing cancer. Artwork is typically created by patients and survivors.

Lilly Oncology On Canvas is presented by Lilly Oncology, dedicated to delivering innovative solutions that improve the care of people living with cancer, in partnership with the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), which advocates for quality cancer care for all Americans and provides tools that empower people affected by cancer to advocate for themselves.

The Cancer Center's Art Therapy Program is made possible by gifts to the Helen and Sonya Fund. Program supplies are generously supported by the Robert Bruce Dunlap Memorial Fund.

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