Art of the Heart – New Voices Art Gallery Show Now Open

After a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, Jennifer Kelley’s experience with cancer has been one of struggle and growth.

Kelley, a patient at the Cancer Center, created a crocheted felt art piece, featuring two hearts that she says signify the growth she’s experienced through treatment. Together, the hearts represent a shedding of her old self and an acceptance of her new self.

“My piece is about me evolving with my body,” she says. “I’m proud of what I’ve created and it makes me feel good.”

Kelley’s piece is one of more than 50 that will be featured in the new “Art from the Heart” exhibit hosted by the Cancer Center’s Voices Art Gallery. The gallery will hold a reception for the exhibit from 4-6:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2012.

Maraget Nowak, the Cancer Center’s art therapist and exhibit creator, said she chose the heart theme because it resonates with everyone and means something different to each artist. The collection has a wide array of meaning and messages, Nowak says, with some pieces conveying hope and strength, and others symbolizing remembrance or struggle.

“The symbol of the heart, it shows up a lot in everyday life,” she says. “Your heart is what keeps you going, and it’s an image that everyone can relate to.”

The exhibit features more than 50 multimedia pieces from 26 artists, who include Cancer Center patients, staff, caregivers and volunteers. Nowak said this is the most participation she’s seen for a group exhibit.

The exhibit will be open until November.

Exhibit Reception Information:

Time: 4:30-6 p.m.

Date: Monday, Sept. 10

Location: Voices Art Gallery, in the U-M Cancer Center, Level B1, near the Outpatient Pharmacy

Read the latest issue of Thrive

The latest issue of Thrive, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s patient publication, is now available online.

Check out our cover story about options available to women who would like to start a family after cancer treatment has impaired their fertility. The issue also features stories about helping children cope with their parents’ cancer diagnoses and 10 ways to make better decisions about cancer care. Our dietitians weigh in on popular supplements, and our art therapist discusses the benefits of spending time on creative projects.

Visit Thrive online at Take time to browse our archive, too.