‘100 x 100-Artists for Healing’ at Hyde Gallery showcases local artists for cancer research

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On March 14 at the Hyde Gallery on the Grossmont College campus, 100 separate works of donated art were on display for purchase with a donation of $100 to the American Cancer Society. The event sought to raise $10,000 for the cause by selling each individual work of art created by local artists, many of whom are on staff with the Visual Arts and Humanities department of the Grossmont Community College District.

On March 14 at the Hyde Gallery on the Grossmont College campus, 100 separate works of donated art were on display for purchase with a donation of $100 to the American Cancer Society. The event sought to raise $10,000 for the cause by selling each individual work of art created by local artists, many of whom are on staff with the Visual Arts and Humanities department of the Grossmont Community College District.

As part of the One Book, One Campus project that Grossmont College participates in with other San Diego colleges and universities, the 100 x 100 Artists show focused on cancer due to the book being celebrated, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Pulitzer Prize winner Siddhartha Mukherjee. The donated works all represented cancer, from having survived it, losing someone to it, or witnessing the struggle with it.

Showcasing a poignant variety of photographic art, ceramic art, paintings and sculptures, each piece had a unique appeal in that it was created from a personal perspective on the disease. Looking at a photograph of an airborne plane, portrait of a woman, or meticulously crafted silver earrings drew people in and sparked conversation, as they wondered what connection the subjective pieces had to disease.

“The art department decided instead of making images about cancer, which could’ve become rather sad, we decided that we would talk about the power of healing through the arts,” said Suda House, Professor of Art and Photography at Grossmont College. “What is good is giving back. Artists are giving freely of the work. If you give $100 you get a tax donation and you get to take some artwork home to remember. Many artists have honored people. I cannot believe how the art community came to bat. They hit a home run.”

House said so far the event raised more than $6,000 so far and people can still make donations for art through the run of the show until April 3. The Hyde Gallery at Grossmont College is open Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Filled to capacity with people and wall-to-wall evocative artwork, this first-time event at Hyde gallery had many of the artists were available to discuss their work. The difficult nature that is the topic of cancer was central, but the emphasis of the show itself was healing. Healing and giving back were the intentions of the show from its conception.

One of the donating artists present created her work from first-hand experience with the disease. Stephanie Bedwell, teacher at Mt. Helix Academy and Grossmont College, was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.

“I donated a piece called ‘Resting in Vulnerability’, that piece is dear to me. When you have cancer, you can strive for control, but you don’t have control,” Bedwell said. “I had to get to a place where I could be okay with the temporal nature of life, be okay with that fact that right now I’m here and I’m happy, and yet I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, so, that’s what the piece is about. It’s about being okay anyway. We can have cancer, and we’re okay anyway. I used to think cancer was going to ruin my life, and ruin everything because I didn’t have the sense of safety. And now I realize, I’m okay anyway.”

For more information, log on to www.grossmont.edu/artgallery.

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