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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Creating A Personal Healing Image; A Series By Maria DiFranco

Creating a Personal Healing Image

“This publication was created by artist Maria DiFranco in collaboration with current female cancer patients at the Stephanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center at the James Cancer Hospital. In one hour painting sessions, DiFranco and the participants explored how imagery and the process of art making can play a role in their remission. These participants positively impact the lives of other patients by sharing their paintings in this book, which has been donated to cancer hospitals.”
The participatory project titled “Creating a Personal Healing Image”, approved by the Internal Review Board (IRB) at The Ohio State University’s Office of Responsible Research Practices in 2015, and funded by The Ohio State University Alumni Grant for Graduate Research and Scholarship, provided free painting workshops, facilitated by artist Maria DiFranco, to current patients at the Stefanie Speilman Comprehensive Breast Center, James Cancer Hospital at the Ohio State University. Inspired by DiFranco’s own experience as a cancer patient, the project intended to give female patients an alternative to the common magazine selection at OBGYN Oncology offices, which often contain articles on health and beauty (difficult subjects for cancer patients to encounter). The “Creating a Personal Healing Image” project had two objectives: to empower the participants to engage in a therapeutic activity that betters the lives of their fellow patients, and to provide readers with a momentary distraction from their stressful experience with a book of colorful and unique compositions. 

The outcome was a book of gorgeous paintings that illustrate a metaphorical expression of the patients’ experience with disease. The participants cast light on how the process of imagemaking can play a role in the emotional healing of cancer patients. There is a rich history of artists coping with trauma through image making, including artists Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Hannah Wilke (1940-1993), who dealt with their personal experience of disease in their artwork. “Creating a Personal Healing Image” employs this tradition to explore how images and imagemaking can create cathartic moments when experiencing illness.

Artist Bio: 

Maria DiFranco’s artworks constitute a social aspect which greatly inform her private studio practice. DiFranco interprets and responds to the results of her research, creating installations, performances, and participatory projects that draw attention to contemporary stories that are unheard, and the relationships that can be forged through the intimate and personal activity of sharing a story from one’s life. DiFranco’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the United States including Purdue University in Indiana, the New Bedford Art Museum in Massachusetts, Red Line Gallery in Colorado, The H Gallery in California, Providence Art Club in Rhode Island, and The University of Akron in Ohio among others

Please send any inquires to Maria DiFranco 
(email) maria.k.difranco@gmail.com 
(website) www.mariadifranco.com

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