A new art exhibit put on by the Avera Cancer Institute at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science hopes to bring awareness to the importance art plays in the healing process. Here's more on "Tied to the Cause".
Jo VanderWoude is one of the local artists asked by the folks at the Avera Cancer Institute to create a painting for their "Tied to the Cause" project. Each piece features a pair of shoes to underscore how we all have gone on a journey with cancer whether we were the patient or not. Jo calls her painting "Keep on Dancing."
Jo VanderWoude says, "I had a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time I received the call for art for the Tied to the Cause. I was inspired by how she faced everyday. She needed to have chemo and radiation and she was so positive and surrounded herself with people who really cared about her. She filled her days with things she loved and took really good care of herself. Secondly, I needed to incorporate shoes into the piece and my granddaughter Madison is passionate about dance and about the same time she was getting her first pair of point ballet shoes. I merged the two together and "Keep on Dancing" was born."
Carol Rogers is an art therapist at both Avera Behavioral Health and the Avera Cancer Institute and says integrative medicine like arts and therapy plays an important role is healing.
Rogers says, "Everybody walks through cancer, whether it's the caregivers or the patients or family members. Personally, I lost both by parents and a sister a year ago to cancer so everybody can understand, at some level, what it's like to experience cancer."
After you look at all the art they hope you vote for your favorite because the winner of the People's Choice will be featured in the new Avera Cancer Institute.
VanderWoude says, "Even if it takes their mind off what they are feeling for a moment that's enough."
Therapists say the more the arts are researched, the more statistics surface proving that when people engage in art therapy the better they feel, the better they do, the better their outlook. Looking at these moving and emotional works of art it's not surprising. What a great gift to give.
There is an artist reception on Thursday May 13th from 5:00-7:00 pm. You can also check out the exhibit until June 13. It's on the 2nd floor lobby outside the Visual Arts Center in the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.