CURE Seeks Art Submissions Inspired by the Cancer Journey


Twelve works will be selected to appear in a 2021 CURE® calendar, and all submissions will be displayed in the magazine’s online art gallery.

A peaceful blue koi pond, complete with a waterfall and waterlilies, was a place of refuge for Heidi L. White-DiBella and her husband, Paul DiBella, during his treatment for multiple myeloma in 2011.

Through the window of an inpatient room at the CCHC New Bern Cancer Care in North Carolina, the couple would watch the koi slipping silently past rocks and flowers and, for a little while, forget where they were, and why.

Eight years later, after the hospital had moved to a new location, Heidi wanted to share that serenity with other patients, so she put brush to canvas to create a painting of the pond. Now, the work greets visitors as they walk in the door of the new facility.

Last year, Heidi had a chance to share the painting with people across the nation when it was selected as the cover image for a CURE® 2020 calendar featuring 12 works of art inspired by cancer journeys.

“The koi pond may be gone, but some of its peace and tranquility remains,” she wrote in a description of the work that appeared in the calendar. “It reminds me that we made it through hard times, and together we will make it through whatever life throws our way. It’s been a journey, and the ride is far from being over, but there is always hope.”

Using art to share the insights, hopes and fears associated with cancer can be a deeply meaningful experience for both the creators of the works and those who view them. That’s why CURE® is once again seeking submissions from patients, survivors and caregivers for inclusion in a calendar that will showcase visual art. Regardless of whether selected for inclusion in the 2021 calendar, all the works submitted will appear in CURE®’s online art gallery.

CURE®’s 2020 calendar featured paintings, photographs, sculptures and a line drawing that, together, communicated insights about struggle, acceptance, encouragement in the face of difficulty and joy and hope at the beauty of life.

Kenneth Pieti’s colorful, abstract painting, titled “Peaceful Pilots,” included a row of aliens in spaceships receding into the distance.

“Cancer is random, like a paint pour,” he wrote. “Cancer is also alien and difficult to fully accept. At best, we all need to come to peace with it. I have stage 4 terminal cancer. I’m OK with it.”

Alaina Coote, in her painting of a woman’s face titled “Summer Daze,” created her work for the women’s cancer unit at a hospital as a way to ease stress for patients undergoing chemotherapy and remind them of their “power, beauty, femininity and strength.” She was inspired by her mother’s and grandmother’s journeys with breast and ovarian cancer during her childhood.

In his description of his own work, “Vivaldi Flower Petal Table,” Mark Levin recalls how the idea of finishing the wooden sculpture helped him endure stem cell infusions for myeloma. “Knowing it was there and waiting to come to life got me through the hundreds of needle pricks, stomach shots, port changes and never-ending bone marrow biopsies,” he wrote.

Sasha S. Bialock photographed a caterpillar climbing on some delicate flowers before she knew she had cancer, but the work inspires her now as she lives with the disease.

“When the caterpillar becomes the butterfly, it further signifies endurance, change, hope, transformation and rebirth,” she wrote. “Where there is life, there is hope! I look at this photograph often and feel patiently hopeful for the moment, for the day.”

Artists can submit their work by emailing a high-resolution .jpg to To be considered for the calendar, pieces must be in by Sunday, Nov. 15 and meet a few criteria:

  • Works must be original visual art with a title and short description stating their meaning to the artist, how they relate to the cancer experience and what mediums were used to create them.
  • Artists may submit more than one work, but, if selected for inclusion in the calendar, can only win for one piece.
  • Art must be submitted by, and attributed to, the person or people who created it.
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