A click of a Zoom link and a question of whether the video would stay on and I was in to view the online closing celebration for the “We Heal” exhibition and book release coordinated by sculptor Nora Valdez in collaboration with patients from the Cancer and Sickle Cell Support Programs at the Boston Medical Center and Dana Farber Cancer Institute and youth from the Urbano Project.
The project was an encouraging and inspiring workshop that allowed those going through hardships to experience the creativity they have.
As everyone rolled in for the March 19 event, I sat and waited for the presentation of what would be beautiful art from people who do not consider them artists. It started with a warm welcome to show how much of a community had been built through this exhibition.
The exhibition mimicked the feeling of healing and the work resembled places that feel good to those who contributed. Origami cranes and prayer flags showed the creativity of what is special to the participants at Boston Medical and Dana Farber.
Each prayer flag has a meaning to each of the patients. A tree, a dog, and even star geometry was represented through these flags. Shades of blue, yellow and pink dominated the screen as I watched the video. In the art book compiled from the work, there is art representing different levels of skills and backgrounds. Some delved into photography, drawing and painting. The diverse project allowed its participants to express themselves in the way they would like.
“You can feel the love,” Valdez said during the Zoom reception, and it made for an accurate statement. With guests commenting on the artwork in the chat, they all radiated positive energy through an online medium.
(You can view the closing celebration and the “We Heal” book at http://urbanoproject.org/we-heal-nora-valdez. This project was funded by a New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Creative City Boston grant, with funding from the Barr Foundation and support from the Boston Foundation.)