The Red & Orange House visits The Creating Hope Foundation, Simon Cancer Center. Funded by The Anne Goss Foundation.

The Red & Orange House visits The Creating Hope Foundation, October 2014

The Red & Orange House visits The Creating Hope Foundation, October 2014

Creating Hope's watercolor bookmark process

Creating Hope’s watercolor bookmark three-step process

Thursday, October 30th, 2014, I visited the Creating Hope Foundation, a non profit organization helping people cope with cancer through self expression and creativity. Every Thursday, board members, Tina and John Gianfagna, set up their art table near the elevator that leads to the cancer treatment rooms in the Simon Cancer Center. Patients coming to and/or from treatment, are drawn to the cheerful watercolor bookmarks displayed on the table. Their presence, pretty and delicate, symbolize a type of optimism needed on an individual’s quest to live with joy and hope no matter the circumstances.

John Gianfagna leads the watercolor book mark process

John Gianfagna teaches the watercolor book mark process

John lead me through the three step art-making process to create my own beautiful watercolor bookmark. A sense of time and any worries I may have had slowly slipped away. As I focused on the process, I imagined,  Jeanette, the Gianfagna’s daughter and founder of Creating Hope. She painted the first bookmark and kept painting them. Art-making became essential in coping with her cancer treatment. She told her doctors the activity took her to another place, a time without pain and anxiety. During times of uncertainty in my life, I have used art-making as a refuse from fear, worry and anxiety.

Red & Orange House visits Creating Hope Foundation in Indianapolis, Indiana. October 2014

It was an inspiration to meet with Diane Sciarretta, learn of her mission, and attend one of her healing sessions with a group of caregivers from Riley Hospital. Her enthusiasm and skill in communicating the benefits of using art as therapy to help overcome life’s stresses, helped make the process approachable and effective. We were able to reflect on our similar missions – using creativity and self-expression to help cope with illness – one that the founder of Creating Hope, Jeanette Shamblen, also found through her personal experience.

Written Tina Gianfagna, President, Creating Hope, Inc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s