The 10th anniversary of the Lilly Oncology On Canvas Art Competition was celebrated with the presentation of awards and display of winning entries on October 23 in New York’s Grand Central Terminal. The competition, which is presented by Lilly Oncology and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), invites all residents of the United States and Puerto Rico who have been touched by cancer to express, through art and narrative, the life-affirming changes that give meaning to their cancer journeys. Prizes consist of donations to cancer-related charities chosen by the winners.
Among the hundreds of painters present in Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall were the top three national winners of the 2014 Lilly Oncology On Canvas Art Competition. In addition, an exhibition featured more than 100 entries from the 2014 competition.
Pennsylvania Cancer Survivor Wins Top Prize
Susan Hope Schaffer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. Ms. Schaffer, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who captured her journey in an acrylic titled “Visions of Hope,” was named as the first-place winner in the 2014 Lilly Oncology On Canvas Art Competition. The narrative accompanying her artwork begins, “Cancer, a personal tsunami,” and goes on to describe how those around her played a role in giving her hope through her cancer journey: her doctors’ treatment outlines, her husband’s love and embrace, her mother’s strength, her daughter’s tears, her granddaughter’s eyes reflecting the future, and survivors’ eagerness to share their cancer journeys. She concluded her poem by explaining how each person in her circle of caregivers provided her with visions of hope that “enlightened the soul, giving strength to forge through my cancer tsunami.”
In addition to first place, Ms. Schaffer’s artwork also won Best Entry by a Person Diagnosed with Cancer and Best Acrylic by a Person Diagnosed with Cancer.
Beautiful Courage and Footsteps to Peace Take Second-, Third-Place Honors
Second place was awarded to Lynnea Washburn, of Sammamish, Washington, for her entry titled “Beautiful Courage,” a watercolor. Her artwork depicts a red rose in full bloom surrounded by buds, all of them opening up to life shining through the center of her artwork in the form of a dazzling ray of sun. In her narrative, she wrote, “Courage can be quiet resolve, silent determination, and resilience of spirit. Courage can be both fragile and strong. ... Courage allows hope. Hope begets life. Life carries on.” Ms. Washburn also won Best Watercolor by a Person Diagnosed with Cancer.
Third place was awarded to Dennis R. Holliday, of Jefferson City, Missouri, for his entry titled “Footsteps to Peace,” an acrylic. His artwork, depicting a path heading out of dark woods and into the sun hidden behind a dark cloudy sky, is a tribute to someone who lost her battle against cancer. In his narrative, he wrote, “She saved me in my time of need and is, therefore, my angel who continues to watch over me.”
Mr. Holliday also won Best Entry by a Family Member, Friend or Caregiver and Best Acrylic by a Family Member, Friend or Caregiver.
The 2014 Oncology On Canvas competition awarded nearly $40,000 in prizes to cancer charities selected by the 17 winners in various categories.
Artwork from the competition will tour cancer centers, hospitals, and patient advocacy events nationwide beginning in January 2015. ■