Paying it forward

Illuminations Flyer

After talking about everyone else,

I suppose I should mention that I have an exhibit up as part of a group show at Massachusetts General Hospital. I have two pieces in the Cox Radiation Building waiting area, ten in the Yawkey Building 8E Waiting Area and two in the Yawkey Building 7B. This exhibit is part of the “Illuminations” series.

 The Illuminations program, skillfully and lovingly managed by Stefanie Ryan (MA Art Therapy, LMHC), is a rotating art exhibit housed in the waiting areas of the Cancer Center. The goal of Illuminations is to provide a visually stimulating and healing environment through the arts for patients, their family and friends and staff of the Cancer Center.

As some of you know I am a Cancer survivor. I spent considerable time in the Cox Radiation Building waiting area and still visit periodically for follow up. I saw other Illuminations exhibits during that time. They did what was most essential for me at that time; provided a momentary window into someplace else. For me as an artist and a Cancer survivor, it was important to be able to participate in helping others go through the trying experience of radiation and chemotherapy. Thankfully I’ve been graciously accepted, through their juried process, for inclusion in the current group show. For the doctors and staff who got me through my difficult time, this is my way of taking the care and love they gave me and “paying it forward.” For those in the process of their own journey, hopefully I bring them some momentary surcease from the stress.

Below is my artist’s statement for this program. It is simple and to the point yet this was the most difficult one I’ve ever written. Superlatives, Ethereal Cereal and Nonsense Nattering were not appropriate for this particular venue. I hope this hits the mark.

 Sometimes it’s good to escape; to get away; have a baby vacation. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by the present we may forget how wonderful it is to be alive. The background noise is so loud we cannot hear our own heartbeat; the visual clutter so dense and distracting that rather than seeing anything in particular, we see nothing at all.

 I am a Jazz Saxophonist and a Photographer. I love both of these art forms because I can give you, the audience or the viewer, a present. I want to take you somewhere. Tell you a story; play you a song; show you something I’ve seen. Share a smile with you. If I’m able to do this then I am truly happy.

 Each of these images is a window into some place I’ve been that felt magical to me. Not because they were some far away exotic location. No, they’re magical because I took the time to really look at them and discover their specialness. Hopefully these images convey the feeling of a special place to you or remind you of a special place of your own.

 P.S. If you can attend the opening it will show much needed public support for this ongoing beautiful interface between joy and those who most need it. If you are an artist, think about exhibiting your work

3 Responses to “Paying it forward”

  1. February 16, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Hey Arni – I’m gathering the BCG Photo Club contingent to attend the opening. Can’t wait.

  2. March 9, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Arnie,
    I am sorry I won’t be able to make the opening. But please keep me informed of what you are up to. Hope to see you soon. With gratitude, Irene

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February 2010

Copyright Notice

All Photographic Images ©Arni Cheatham, Segami Images and Eyes and Ears, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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