Lines of Nature 33

Living Proof Exhibit

About Living Proof Exhibit
In March 2010, Mary Ellen Cunningham and Pamela Crouch, both cancer survivors, met at a breast cancer support group. Encouraged by friends after her diagnosis, Mary Ellen had turned to photography as a way to use art to help her cope with the challenges of her diagnosis and treatment. Pamela, previously a professional writer, had been struggling with depression after chemotherapy left her aphasic and unable to work. She decided to try a new way of being creative, and began making birdhouses, painting the roofs bright pink and gifting them to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. The women recall their first meeting: "[Pamela] bounced up to Mary Ellen and said, 'I used art as therapy, you used art as therapy, I'm sure there are others who did that too . . . let's put on a show!'" Seven months later, in October 2010, Living Proof Exhibit had their first show at Bucktown Center for the Arts in Davenport, Iowa. A month later, the newly formed non-profit organization began offering their first art therapy classes, and they have been hosting annual exhibitions featuring art made by other cancer survivors ever since!

Living Proof Exhibit website

Lines of Nature 33, Watercolor monotype on paper, 17" x 21", undated

In her own words:

Step back . . . and look. I see landscapes everywhere I travel. Sometimes we are so on the go that we miss it all. I am trying to recreate what I see so that everyone can appreciate what is all around us. We are so busy, busy, busy. Slow down, step back . . . and look!

I have been fighting leiomyosarcoma, a very serious and rare cancer, for 15 years. Because of the treatments and the fatigue that go with them, I have had time to slow down. Sometimes way too slow. . . . My landscape prints have helped me to take that time and use it to create. It feels wonderful to be able to use the positive force of art in such a negative situation as cancer. Good things come out of the bad. Always.

This page was first displayed
on December 05, 2017

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