New art show 'BC and Me' offers insight into brushes with breast cancer

New art show 'BC and Me' offers insight into brushes with breast cancer

September 2nd, 2012 by Susan Pierce in Life Entertainment

If You Go

What: "BC and Me" art show.

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.

Where: Coolidge Park, Walker Pavilion.

Admission: Free.

Remaining Workshops

Where: Art Warehouse, 3260 Brainerd Road.

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 2 p.m. Sept. 9.

Fee: $5 for materials; registration required.

For more information: 490-4555.

A new art show and sale is scheduled Sept. 22 in Coolidge Park as a fundraiser for the MaryEllen Locher Foundation. The show is unique in that none of its exhibitors are professional artists, but all have experienced the emotional and physical toll of the show's theme.

"BC and Me" will be an exhibit of mixed-media collages made by breast cancer patients, survivors, their family members and friends. Each work will express the feelings its artist experienced as he or she coped with the disease or walked through the journey with a cancer patient.

Workshops began in August and continue through Sept. 9 at Art Warehouse. They are open to any breast cancer patient, survivor, friend or family member to create a collage for the sale. Participants are asked to bring photos, cards and other mementos for use in their art.

According to Jamie Trollinger, an intern with the Locher Foundation who developed the idea for this show, more than 50 pieces of art are expected. The majority are 16 by 20 inches, she said, and will be priced from $50 to $100 depending on the amount of materials included in their creation.

All proceeds of the sale will benefit the MaryEllen Locher Foundation, a national college scholarship program for children who have either lost a parent to breast cancer or have a parent who is a survivor. It was founded by MaryEllen Locher, a television news anchor for WTVC. Since 2002, the foundation has awarded 255 scholarships totaling $474,000.

Wendi Bishop, 39, an eight-year breast cancer survivor, attended a workshop with her three daughters. Eldest daughter Emily, a freshman at Lee University, is a Locher Foundation scholarship recipient.

"The center has done so much for Emily this year, helping pay her way to college that we wanted to give back," said Bishop. "We're a family of five and limited in income. The scholarship pays a percentage of her tuition at Lee. If she had chosen to go to another school, it would have paid her way. But Lee has always been her dream school. We tell everybody that the scholarship helped to make Emily's dream come true."

Mary Anna Coleman, 36, just concluded her chemotherapy treatments in April after breast cancer was discovered in October 2011.

"Part of the reason for the art show is to provide scholarships for the children of breast cancer patients," she said. "I have heard it said that children of breast cancer have to grow up faster than other children. I have two boys, ages 6 and 4, and it definitely has affected their lives -- some good, some negative. They've had to deal with things most kids don't have to."

Coleman is painting a chair for the sale with a new friend whom she met through their reconstructive plastic surgeon. She describes herself as a self-taught artist.

"I love art. I like to decorate. I like to help my friends decorate. Art is my thing, sort of a hobby of mine," she said.

For more information about the show or to donate a piece to the sale, contact the MaryEllen Locher Foundation, 490-4555.

Contact Susan Pierce at spierce@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6284.