Artist's Balancing Act Inspires New York's Hope Murals Project

New York artist and GIST survivor, Ellen Mayer, painted "Balancing Act" to describe how she felt about her cancer experience. The artwork was later selected as one of 10 pieces to be publicly painted for The Hope Murals Project.

New York artist and gastrointestinal stromal tumors survivor, Ellen Mayer, painted "Balancing Act" in 2010 to help describe how she felt about her cancer experience and survivorship, including the constant need to balance emotions that come with it.

"I felt like I was constantly balancing in my head: Is it going to come back, is it not going to come back? That’s what this represents," she says. "All these little people represent life, and everybody in life, whether it’s cancer or anything else you’re going through, there is a point where you have to say 'OK, this is what it is and this is how I’m going to get back to balance.'"

After submitting the piece in 2010 for the Lilly Oncology on Canvas art competition, the organizers called Mayer this year to let her know that her "Balancing Act" was selected to be a part of the 10th anniversary of the competition. Mayer's original piece was made into nine large interlocking pieces, which were painted individually by the public on Oct. 23 in New York's Grand Central Terminal as part of The Hope Murals Project.

[Oncology on Canvas and The Hope Murals Project Reaches New York City]

The Hope Murals Project allows anyone who has been impacted by cancer, including patients, survivors and caregivers, to help paint a series of 10 murals around the country.