Chicago Doorways #2 (The Girls)

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

Chicago Doorways #2 (The Girls), Collage on paper, 20" x 28"

In her own words:

My work doesn't address cancer directly, but having a lumpectomy in 1998 made me think about how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. After many years as a performer, I found myself more interested in visual art. (I also model for artists, and have been greatly inspired by them.)

I'm a lifelong collector of vintage images, so collage is my natural medium. Much of my work involves printing on fabric—making decorative objects and books—but I work with paper as well. "Chicago Doorways" features buildings (and the wall of the Bohemian National Cemetery) with names carved on their facades, which I have been photographing for some time. They seem to reveal a secret language/history of the city, which I love to discover and interpret.

Meg Guttman online

This page was first displayed
on December 08, 2017

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