Students in the art class of Janet Anderson at Merrillville High School participated in the Spring Spa Day for cancer survivors hosted by the Oncology Institute at Methodist Hospitals.
“Every year, in conjunction with Spring Spa Day, we host a traveling art exhibit called 'Oncology on Canvas.' This exhibit is sponsored Eli Lilly, and it's a contest where patients and family members submit entries, and winners are chosen. The works are then collected and sent to oncology offices, clinics, and hospitals,” said Marie Bates, Oncology Research Coordinator at Methodist.
Bates said that the exhibit has been hosted by Methodist for several years, leading Jen Sanders, Mammography Supervisor, to come up with the idea of a student-based contest.
Sanders said, “This idea came from wanting to get our younger female students involved in their breast health. I was trying to find a way to get their attention to the matter of breast cancer through something they understand, and, in my opinion, that was their art.”
Sanders said the students were asked to create work that represented hope, survivorship, and life. She said her goal was to raise awareness.
“If we can just make the younger women of our community more aware of issues they need to be concerned about, then it was worth all the work,” Sanders said.
The art work focus was on "Surviving" and showcased versions of 3-D, chalk, water colors, etchings, and prints. The participants at the event selected three designs for first, second, and third place.
“The students were so excited about being involved in such a compassionate event and having their art displayed,” said Bates.
This year’s Spring Spa Day took place April 30 at Methodist’s Southlake Campus.
Students hold the winning artwork they created after the exhibit. Left to right: Tanya Riveron, student, Jennifer Sanders - Mammography Supervisor, Heather Mihal, student, Marie Bates - Cancer Research Coordinator, Dana Gore - Community Relations Specialist, Janet Anderson, teacher, and Desiree Davis, student.