Brain Cancer Got Me Thinking: an art exhibition showcasing the work of the Canadian brain tumour community

This article was written by Rosie Cashman, Nurse Practitioner British Columbia Cancer Agency, Canada, and IBTA Advisor, and was first published in the 2016/17 edition of Brain Tumour, the IBTA's annual magazine that is distributed globally and free of charge in 113 countries and at international neuro-oncology and cancer conferences around the world. Read the full issue online and find out more here.

Brain Cancer Got Me Thinking poster

IN October, 2015 (Canada’s Brain Tumour Awareness Month), the Patient and Family Advisory Council of the British Columbia Cancer Agency chose to raise awareness about brain tumours while celebrating the talents and creativity of the brain tumour community through an art show. The name of the show – ‘Brain Cancer Got Me Thinking’ – was taken from a work of art created by a patient from his radiotherapy mask.

The inspiration for this idea came from the inaugural IBTA Summit meeting in Lafayette, California in 2013. Rosemary Wormington from Brain Tumour Support in the United Kingdom shared her story of a successful art show that she had helped to organize for brain tumour survivors and their loved ones in Britain.

Taking their lead, we asked anyone affected by a brain tumour diagnosis – patient, family member, friend, health care professional, adult, child – to submit a work of art, in any medium, along with an artist’s statement about how he or she was affected by a brain tumour.

Twenty-two artists submitted works of art in a range of media. A jury composed of British Columbia Cancer Agency staff, patients and professional artists selected 30 works of art for a public exhibition which was held at the Visual Space Gallery in Vancouver from October 7-13, 2015. The artists’ stories, in combination with the art, provided a remarkable glimpse of the resilience of the spirited individuals who make up the brain tumour community. The photos here capture some of the excitement of the show.

The art show was made possible through the generous support of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and the Visual Space Gallery.

Watch a wonderful video of the art works below:

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