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Articles / 2009

Cancer survivor art project goes on view soon

Ventura County Star
Sunday, 4/12/2009

One year ago, the Breast Center at Community Memorial Hospital joined with the Buenaventura Art Association to kick off A Celebration of Life.
Co-sponsored by Ribbons of Life Breast Cancer Foundation, the celebration paired local breast cancer survivors with 11 Buenaventura Art Association artists, who were commissioned to create unique and personal artistic impressions associated with the cancer survivors’ experiences.

One pairing consisted of survivor Tamilyn Taylor and artist Janet Black. They found common ground first over their love of cats and coffee and later met to talk about Taylor’s experiences with breast cancer.

Black, who does portraiture in collage, took the lead from Taylor’s story and has created a portrait of Taylor with, of course, her cat.

“The most fascinating thing about this partnering,” Black said, “is that Tamilyn kept a journal during her diagnosis and treatment, and I was able to use pieces of that journal in the collage itself, surrounding her with her own words and memories, in her own handwriting.”

The 11 local artists participating in this program are Janet Black, Susan Cook, Lois Freeman-Fox, Jack Halbert, Debi Nowak-Hawkes, Dorothea Heger, Kathy Ikerd, Judy Klement, Lisa Skyheart Marshall, Sarah Willey and Kay Zetlmaier.

They will be debuting their work next weekend at the annual Gold Dust Gala, sponsored by CMH at Seaside Park. The event will take place on Saturday.

The entire exhibit will then be shown at the Buenaventura Art Association’s Harbor Village Gallery from April 29 to May 18, with an opening reception from noon to 2 p.m. on Mother’s Day, May 10.

Open daily except Tuesdays, the Harbor Village Gallery and Artisan Store is at 1591 Spinnaker Drive. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. For more on the gallery, call 644-2750 or visit the Buenaventura Art Association’s Web site at

To learn more about the Ribbons of Life Breast Cancer Foundation and the upcoming Gold Dust Gala, e-mail Karen Brown at or visit