ON Stage

Free Public Art Exhibit Opens for National Cancer Survivor Month

Local artists honor the resiliency of Arizona cancer patients with “From Darkness to Light” exhibit – on display at West Valley Arts Council Gallery from June 11 to July 9

Phoenix-based nonprofit Cancer Support Community Arizona celebrates National Cancer survivor month with a free art exhibit. The organization delivers free support services, programming, and resources to cancer patients and their families. The exhibit features artwork from local  women and men who have journeyed through cancer diagnoses, treatments, and successes.

The Exhibit

The exhibit opens Friday, June 11, at 5 p.m. at the West Valley Arts Council Gallery. The display, entitled “From Darkness to Light”, showcases 19 custom thermoplastic masks. These masks are used during radiation therapy for individuals with head and neck cancers. Exhibited artists have transformed the masks into heart-wrenching pieces of art that honor the strength of the patients who wore them.

Each mask in the exhibit was molded to the face of an actual cancer patient receiving treatment. When cancer patients undergo radiation treatment for head or neck cancer, they use these masks to keep their head and neck in the same place. It’s an uncomfortable position for patients, and they often experience feelings of panic and claustrophobia.

The exhibit honors the resilient spirit of every individual diagnosed with cancer. Creative transformations include an inspirational Wonder Woman theme and elements of nature. Each piece of art comes with a moving narrative that tells the story of the patient behind the mask.

This is the first public stop for the exhibit. Previously, the exhibit has only been on display for patients and their families at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Goodyear and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. Cancer Support Community Arizona plans to showcase the artwork to other public spaces across the state when the exhibit ends in July. The organization hopes to bring greater awareness to the critical support services and resources the organization provides.

Time, Date, and More Information

The exhibit runs from June 11 through July 9. It is open to the public. Admission is free.

Visitors must follow West Valley Arts Council’s COVID-19 protocols. These include mask-wearing and social distancing. Additionally, capacity is limited to 50 people in the gallery at one time.