Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Healthy Living Online

Published on February 05, 2015

Art Workshops

Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops

Something special happens at PIH Health on the second Thursday of every month from September through May.  Cancer survivors and caregivers come together to support one another and express their emotions through art.  Some of the art projects include drawings, collages, printmaking and sculptures. And a new technique is demonstrated each month to keep the workshops fresh and interesting.

  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops
  • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops

How the art workshops got started

In 2009, Annette Atwood, a local artist and Sheila Spivey, director of the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, shared a table at an award ceremony at the Patricia L. Scheifly Breast Health Center.  Sheila mentioned that she had been encouraging survivors to create art at home, and that she would display the creations in her office, located within PIH Health Hospital - Whittier.  Annette was intrigued, so after that event, she and Sheila worked together to create workshops at the hospital so the survivors could incorporate art into their healing processes.  They also arranged to have the art displayed at the Whittier Art Gallery.  A spectacular artists’ reception was held at the gallery on the opening of the exhibit, which many people attended.

The art workshops today

The program has grown significantly over the years with 12 to 15 participants each meeting creating art with a number of dedicated volunteers and cancer survivor artists who share their skills with the class. But, according to Annette, “Even if only one person attends it’s worth it!” 

It is both inspirational and an encouraging reason to continue to offer these workshops in our community. While Annette is the Lead Facilitator, she is well supported by fellow volunteers, Pat Dudley, Diane Kirkpatrick and Elena Sanchez, all of whom she says she could not do this without.

Annette said, “We are not teaching art, but rather using art as a vehicle for healing. Our participants feel safe, loved and celebrated. They thank us, but are so inspiring, courageous and special to us. They gather to do art, but they are part of a small community that we have seen grow and become this strong support system. Knowing that they are not alone is what truly helps our participants!”

Research proves the value

The people involved in the art workshops at PIH Health don’t need proof, but researchers and colleagues from the National Institutes of Health analyzed more than two dozen studies of creative arts therapies to see the effect on cancer patients. They reviewed 27 randomized clinical trials that included 1,576 cancer patients and examined the effects of creative arts therapies on their psychological symptoms and quality of life. They found that creative arts therapies significantly reduced anxiety, depression and pain while improving the quality of life in cancer patients. 1

Join a workshop

The Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Art Workshops take place on the second Thursday of each month, from September through May, from 10 am to 1 pm.  Materials are provided, and no experience is necessary.  Call 562.698.0811 Ext. 12820 for more information and to make a reservation.

1www.cancer.org

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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