As I approached my 56th birthday, knowing that I was born in 1956, I decided to do a meaningful project to mark this special date, and as a cancer survivor, celebrate Being Alive another year. I also wanted to combine many of the things I love, and to get my Creative Mojo and Positivity back, after a string of health challenges.
Please be sure to watch the video to experience this inspiration process with me, as it's difficult to put into words, and I hope you'll say "you had my contribution with the first heart".
I hope to greatly exceed the small goal of $2,500, to show others in tough situations that there ARE good people waiting to help, and that miracle-y things CAN happen. You just have to keep trying. I've been trying for three years to earn income, and find a new career, since I came to the heart-breaking realization that I just couldn't be an elementary art teacher any more due to the side effects of my cancer treatment. I've been blessed with many accolades and kind words, but kind words don't pay the bills.
I made a promise to myself, and to others, to paint 56 hearts in 56 days, with a commitment to sharing the world of cancer survivorship, and my deep appreciation for healthcare providers, on a journey to heal and have freedom from cancer's impact on my ability to earn a living and the traumatic effects so many scary, bad health events have caused.
I am dedicating each heart to an attribute, person, or group that inspires me. Each day of the project I've been open to serendipity, ah ha moments, and fun surprises, for myself, and for others, with some breathtaking results.
Something amazing has happened!!!
More people are visiting my facebook page where I've been sharing these hearts each day. www.facebook.com/bethpalmerstudio
More people are encouraging me, and "liking" even the things I struggled to share in words and pictures...when I did not have the words for such difficult feelings, and some are even thanking me for sharing, so that they could have the courage to face tough things in their own life! I've been interviewed on the radio, and people are sharing their own hearts with others now too! The therapeutic benefit has been priceless to me personally, even when it's been daunting, and I'm being encouraged to "take the show on the road".
I hope to take this group of 56 little drawings and paintings to the places I spent my childhood...in Tennessee, where my family roots are, and in Ohio where I was a hospital volunteer as a teen, where I first learned the profound value of giving to patients. It's also the same place my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 42, which took her life the next year.
Seems full circle, to revisit my early past, as a cancer survivor, and to find my place in the New Normal present, and a happy future to live into, all by giving back through sharing these 56 heart paintings with others.
Incredibly, I am now also invited to exhibit selected paintings from the Fifty Six Hearts Project at the art gallery of the University of Southern California Keck Medical School Institute of Genetic Medicine, through friendships made as a member of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare. What an adventure!
To launch this tour, the Fifty Six Hearts Project was on exhibit July 22, my 56th birthday, in my hometown of Durham, NC at the clubhouse of the Hillandale Golf Course. There were many smiles and hugs, and a few tears too. And birthday cake...
It was the perfect location because Hillandale Golf Course also sponsors their own H.E.A.R.T.S. program, which gives free golf access to Duke pediatric bone marrow transplant patients and their families so they can have a little break from the hospital and get some fresh air and exercise.
I'm so VERY excited about this opportunity, because we were able to shine the light on their lovely program and raise a bit of support for them in the process!
Your contribution will fund three important needs:
1. Framing and other exhibit preparations for the 56 Hearts, and a printed catalog of all the images.
2. Shipping costs to take the show to three other venues in Ohio, Tennessee, and California.
3. My travel expenses to accompany the Fifty Six Hearts to these places, as I revisit my past, and hopefully continue a future that includes wellness and joy.
I will also create an arts in healthcare event, and make an artist's talk, at each of the venues, and hope to help those I meet along the way find their own inspiration to do similar projects....a beautiful gift that keeps giving.
And maybe, *Just Maybe*, I'll find the right connections along the way to help me get my art to the right people so it can be mass produced, and purchased as gifts for those who need some encouragement themselves.
Thank you SO much for your support, as it means the world to me. I get my strength from kind people doing good things. Can't wait to get on the road!
- (26 days)