Cancer Patients and Survivors Host Expressive Art Exhibition


Connected: Healing Through Art is presented by Cancer Support Community Delaware (CSCDE), Christiana Care Health System’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, and the Delaware Art Museum. Enjoy an evening of entertainment and inspiration with art created by cancer patients and survivors, people living with disease, and caretakers. Meet local individuals who have walked the path of cancer, and learn about cancer prevention and therapeutic initiatives in our community. Artwork on view August 16 – September 3. This program is partially funded by Christiana Care.

Cancer Support Community Delaware incorporates art therapy in programs to help people with cancer live a full life. Art therapy provides an outlet for healing and is known to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Sean Hebbel, CSCDE Program Director teamed up with local art therapist, Kathy Hrenko and Vanessa Simon at the Delaware Art Museum to bring the vision of the expressive arts workshop and exhibit to life.

“I was excited the Delaware Art Museum approached us to collaborate. They presented our participants with a wonderful opportunity to see their art installed and displayed at the museum.” Art sessions were held at Cancer Support Community Delaware led by Hrenko. “The process was an incredibly therapeutic, rewarding and transformative experience for our participants.”

Vanessa Simon, Museum Associate at Delaware Art Museum knows firsthand the benefits of art therapy. Simon recalls seeking art as a form of healing during her own cancer recovery. “Art through photography, through storytelling, through creative community. I found solace in creative projects and my own 365 photography challenge. Each day of taking a photo helped me to look for things that I was grateful for, to see the world again not through the lens of cancer but through new eyes of life.”

When Simon was presented the opportunity to develop a community-based program at the Delaware Art Museum it seemed only natural to offer others an opportunity for healing through art. Three art therapy workshops were hosted during a three month period. The program culminates in an exhibit, Healing Through Art, which celebrates the participants time creating art together and raises awareness of cancer support networks, resources, and art therapy in the area. The artists look forward to sharing their experiences and artwork at the exhibit opening on August 17th from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The artwork will be on view August 16 – September 3.

Simon recalls “We had a great turnout at each workshop. I’ve had participants tell me that they just felt a “need to create” since going through cancer, even though often times they were not “artists” or “creative” types. Other participants who, understandably so, are having a hard time expressed gratitude to have a reason to come out of the house. It’s encouraging to know that we can help one another by giving support but also by just simply creating together side by side. We feel a connection in knowing we are not alone in our struggle to recover our lives.”

The Healing Through Art program is partially funded thanks to support from the Graham Cancer Center, which hosted an art therapy workshop earlier this summer for breast cancer survivors and their caregivers as a way to help them express their cancer journey through art. That program was spearheaded by Luisa Ortiz-Marquez, manager for the Healthy Families/Promotoras program, which educates women to be community health workers and promote screenings in the Hispanic community.

“The art therapy workshop represents the first time that many of the art therapy workshop participants have the chance to express themselves since they or a loved one learned they had cancer,” Ortiz-Marquez said. “Our participants connect with others through this workshop and they also get in touch with their own creativity. We are grateful to our partners that the creative expressions of our patients and their caregivers are able to culminate in this special art exhibit.”

Healing Through Art is part of the Delaware Art Museum’s Connected Series. Connected programs are produced by the community, for the community. All events are free and open to the public. Click here for more information.

About Cancer Support Delaware

Cancer Support Community Delaware is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to providing psychosocial care for cancer patients, their families and caregivers. More information at

Partners and Sponsors

This program is presented by Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute and Cancer Support Community Delaware and partially funded by Christiana Care Health System. Support was provided, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on


Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum is recognized for its cornerstone collection of works by celebrated American artist and illustrator Howard Pyle, a Wilmington native, complemented by hundreds of works by some of the most talented illustrators.

Also renowned for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most significant Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom, assembled by Samuel Bancroft, Jr., a Wilmington textile mill owner with a taste for Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other contemporaries of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

The Museum is famous for the preeminent collection of urban landscapes by American painter John Sloan and his circle. The Sloan collection lives alongside an esteemed survey of American art–spanning more than 200 years–from early 19th century through the present, including masterworks by Raphaelle Peale, Frederic Church, Thomas Eakins, Edward Hopper, Robert Motherwell, and Dale Chihuly. Visitors also enjoy the outdoor Copeland Sculpture Garden, featuring large-scale works by Tom Otterness and George Rickey.

For more than 100 years, the Museum has occupied a vibrant place in the life of the Brandywine Valley. More than a collection of beautiful objects, the Museum is a vital source of experiences and discoveries for visitors from around the world.

The Delaware Art Museum is at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806. Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and Friday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday: Closed. Adults (19-59) $12, Seniors (60+) $10, Students (with valid ID) $6, Youth (7-18) $6, and Children (6 and under) free. Admission fees are waived Thursdays 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sundays 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. thanks to support from generous individuals. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or 866-232-3714 (toll free), or visit

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