“Some see paint. Others see hope.”

September 07, 2014


Lilly Oncology On Canvas: Expressions of a Cancer Journey is an art competition and exhibition that honors the journeys people face when confronted with a cancer diagnosis.

Though pieces will be displayed for patients in all four Penn Highlands Healthcare hospitals, free open houses for the public will be held at Hahne Regional Cancer Center, 100 Hospital Ave., DuBois, from 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, and 6-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the Nathaniel D. Yingling Cancer Center, 815 Doctors Drive, Clearfield.

That is the title of the Lilly Oncology On Canvas Art exhibition as it travels the country.

This fall, Penn Highlands Healthcare is lucky enough to be one of its stops with artwork.

What is Oncology On Canvas?

Launched in 2004, it is a program sponsored by Lily, a pharmaceutical company, in partnership with the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, or NCCS, which advocates for quality cancer care for all Americans and provides tools and resources that empower people affected by cancer to advocate for themselves.

Lilly Oncology On Canvas: Expressions of a Cancer Journey is an art competition and exhibition that honors the journeys people face when confronted with a cancer diagnosis.

It invites people from the United States and Puerto Rico, who are diagnosed with any type of cancer – as well as their families, friends, caregivers, and healthcare providers – to express, through art and narrative, the life-affirming changes that give their cancer journeys meaning. 

Art from the competition tours hospitals, cancer centers and cancer advocacy group events. To date, Oncology On Canvas has received more than 4,100 entries, with more expected to be added from the 2014 competition. 

Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges, typically including past winners, cancer survivors, leading oncologists, journalists, representatives from patient advocacy groups and the competition art director. The end result is a compelling art collection that provides insights into the wide range of emotions experienced by those touched by cancer.

This year’s competition marks the sixth competition as well as the 10-year anniversary celebration.

“A patient advocate approached me over the last two years asking me if we could bring this to our community,” Adams said. “This project was chosen because it articulates a cancer patient’s and caregiver’s journey as they go through treatment and beyond.”

“The artwork gives patients an opportunity to express their feelings of their cancer diagnosis.  Patients undergoing a cancer diagnosis emotionally connect to another cancer patient; they form a support system both face to face and through expressions of art. Creating, viewing and talking about the disease can help patients and their loved ones cope with this serious illness,” Adams said.

Pieces of this collection will be on display twice in the Penn Highlands Healthcare hospitals. It will be on display in September in Hahne Regional Cancer Center in DuBois with several pieces going to PH Brookville, PH Clearfield and PH Elk. In October, a different set from the collection will be on display at Nathaniel D. Yingling Cancer Center in Clearfield with several pieces on display at the other hospitals.

As the patients will see most of the art during appointments, Hahne has decided to use its off hours to allow the public to view it, too.

A free open house will be held at Hahne Regional Cancer Center, 100 Hospital Ave., DuBois, from 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, following the Sept. 20 event Days of Hope at the DuBois Mall, which includes a 5K walk, butterfly release and parade of bras to benefit patients at Hahne. A free open house will be held from 6-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the Nathaniel D. Yingling Cancer Center, 815 Doctors’ Drive, Clearfield.

At these times, the healthcare providers from the cancer centers will be on-hand to meet the public, including the new radiation oncologist, Dr. Grae Schuster, and the newest medical oncologist, Dr. Maofu Fu, with Oncology/Hematology Associates of Northern PA.

“For our community, this display of art work allows people to view and sensitize to the many emotions and barriers a cancer patient experiences,” Adams said. “All of us as community members have witnessed loved ones, neighbors or friends that have been diagnosed with cancer.  I feel this display gives us the opportunity to reflect and support each other.”