Features

ArtAWhirl 2016

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Barbara Anca w ptg Owatonna Unveiling 2015 11 17 2

Breast Cancer Superheroes: it’s ArtAWhirl!
We had an amazing year in 2015, and 2016 is humming along….the fantastic feats of our superladies have been lauded at Owatonna Hospital and the Playwright’s Center….

And this weekend is ArtAWhirl

Come on down and visit us – bring the kids and create your own superhero!

See the completed “Butterfly of Rio” (the incomparable Anca Sima), and guess where our superwomen will be in October….(???)

ArtAWhirl
Friday, May 20: 5 – 10pm
Saturday, May 21: 12 – 8pm
Sunday, May 22: 12 – 5pm

California Building, Studio 502

2205 California St NE

Minneapolis, MN 55418

….and always remember to use your powers for good!

Barbara Porwit, Artist and Founder
Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project

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Year in Review: 2015 (Wow!)

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Well, everyone, 2015 was an amazing year.

Breast Cancer Superhero Anca Sima, the "Butterfly of Rio," being unveiled at Owatonna Hospital Allina (11/17/2015) (photo: Kim Hyatt, Owatonna People's Press)

Breast Cancer Superhero Anca Sima, the “Butterfly of Rio,” being unveiled at Owatonna Hospital Allina (11/17/2015) (photo: Kim Hyatt, Owatonna People’s Press)

The wonderful superladies of the Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project have been on display at:

– Katherine Nash Art Gallery, University of Minnesota (“WonderWomen”)
– Regla de Oro Fair Trade Gifts and Gallery, Minneapolis, MN (with a fundraiser for Angel Foundation and new BCSuperhero posters and greeting cards!)
– BioMedical Library, University of Minnesota (students from a Statistics course did a survey on the emotional impact of the show on viewers for their class study-)
– Owatonna Hospital Allina (now on view through end of February 2016)

They have been featured in local, national and even media overseas:

Star Tribune
Pioneer Press
Minnesota Women’s Press
Women You Should Know (out of NYC)
Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls
Redbookmag.com
– Arts Connect International: 7 Dresses for Health (out of Boston, MA)
One Wig Stand (out of Lebanon! )

We’ve had a new supermodel join our ranks: Anca Sima, the “Butterfly of Rio,” was unveiled at Owatonna Hospital on Nov 17 – her story was covered in local newspapers where she really made a splash!

And capping off the year, the Minnesota Women’s Press named artist and founder Barbara Porwit (ie, me…) one of their 2015 “Changemakers” and featured my painting of Jei Olson, “the Alchemist” on the cover of the December Changemakers issue.

At this point, all I can really say is WOW.

two women next to a superhero painting of Phoenix Rising

Lisa Dahlseid and artist Barbara Porwit share a moment next to the painting of Lisa as Phoenix Rising.

There are so many people to thank, to name just a few: all our wonderful supermodels, writer and media liaison Kevun Burger, photographer Doug Webb, our fantastic University of Minnesota Duluth Health Education interns (Lisa Peterson, Jill Grensing, Amy Johnson, Barakat Titilope) and Professor Tornabene, Jessica Smith of Regla de Oro, Howard Oransky and Michelle Orr of the University of Minnesota, and Linda Hoffman, Natalie Ginter and Silvan Durben of the Owatonna Hospital Allina Healing Arts Program.
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What will 2016 bring?

The first half of the year will bring, for me, an artist’s retreat. I’ve received a Next Step Fund artist’s grant from the Minneapolis Regional Arts Council and will be studying with master painters Jan – May.

After that we’ll be looking for a deserving subject to be honored as a Breast Cancer Superhero in 2016 – nominations welcome….

Have a wonderful year everyone – I hope to see all of us out there using our powers for good!

Barbara Porwit
Artist and Founder
Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project

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Behind the Superhero: Anca Sima- “The Butterfly of Rio”

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Anca Sima "The Butterfly of Rio"

Behind the Superhero:
Anca Sima- “The Butterfly of Rio”

Anca is an outgoing, spunky, amazing wife, mother, engineer and dancing queen who loves to travel and always knows where to find the fun!
Anca was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, one month after being diagnosed with stage four lymphoma. Before scheduling a mastectomy surgery, Anca first booked a trip of her dreams.
“I decided, I’m going to Carnival. Who’s coming with me?” she said, and seven of her girlfriends signed on to make the journey with her to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Anca has always loved rounding up friends for dancing, festivals and nights on the town.
Anca came back beaming with the exuberant spirit that her Carnival experience had sparked. She was ready to start her mastectomy process and grab Breast Cancer by the horns; Anca wasn’t going to let this cancer bring down her spirit.

“We all feel misery, and none of us know what’s coming. Cancer has made me think more deeply and helps me understand the suffering around me,” she said. “Zest for life is my superpower.”- Anca Sima

Artist’s notes:
Working with Anca, I found that her particular magic is the way she attracts people and brings them along with her. Her energy is so infectious, so positive, she has such joie de vivre. She’s the ringleader, the Pied Piper, the vortex of energy. I wanted to capture her spirit that seems to be saying, “Yahoo!”
– Barbara Portwit

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Artist at Work: Tonal Study

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The Butterfly of Rio

The Butterfly of Rio

The Butterfly of Rio

The Butterfly of Rio

– Another one of the steps in creating a painting is working out the “tones” – the main lights and darks. Here’s a beginning of a small tonal study artist Barbara Porwit is doing to prepare for the large painting of Breast Cancer Superhero Anca Sima—- later she will add color and Anca’s WINGS….

Help Barbara do this work: back us on our kickstarter today! Check out the project here: KickStarter

by: Barbara Porwit

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Help us reach our goal: $2000 by 10/10:

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Check out our New Kickstarter Campaign!

Check out our New Kickstarter Campaign!

We recently launched our very first Kickstarter! Your support will help us create the portrait of Anca Sima, the “Butterfly of Rio,” and other future portraits…..Check out the video, backer rewards and website link here: Kickstarter

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Butterfly of Rio: 9 11 2015

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Breast Cancer Superhero Anca Sima is well on her way to making her big entrance as the “Butterfly of Rio” this November at the show in Owatonna, MN. Artist Barbara Porwit is now in the drawing stages – soon those brushes will cover the canvas in bright and beautiful colors, representing Anca’s vibrant personality! Stay tuned for more progress reports…..

The Drawing Stages of the Butterfly of Rio

Now in the preliminary drawing stages for the Butterfly of Rio…

Anca Sima, the "Butterfly of Rio" - closeup of beginning shadow underpainting (artist: Barbara Porwit)

Anca Sima, the “Butterfly of Rio” – closeup of beginning shadow underpainting

Now in the preliminary drawing stages...

Now in the preliminary drawing stages…

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JUST LAUNCHED!

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Check out our New Kickstarter Campaign!

Check out our New Kickstarter Campaign!

The first ever Kickstarter for the Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project – supporting the work with our next subject (Anca Sima, the “Butterfly of Rio”) and future portraits. Check out the website and see how you could back up our project and receive rewards for every pledge! Raising $2000+ by October 10, 2015.

Anca Sima, the "Butterfly of Rio" - our next Breast Cancer Superhero: help Anca get her wings!

Anca Sima, the “Butterfly of Rio” – our next Breast Cancer Superhero: help Anca get her wings!

We really need your support – please back us up if you can and share the link with people you know who might be interested in supporting this project.

There are some wonderful rewards for backers. Wonder Woman Katy fridge magnets, greeting cards and posters featuring all our heroines, even private studio tours and custom made portraits at the higher levels —-

Every pledge will go to helping us reach more women, families and care providers with our message of hope and encouragement. Thank you so much!

Check out the kickstarter Project here:
www.Kickstarter.com/projects

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Check Out Our Next Subject-Anca Sima!

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Anca Sima "The Butterfly of Rio"

Anca Sima “Anca with her “wings” on the streets of Rio de Janiero: Anca booked this trip with her daughters and 7 closest female friends when she knew she was waiting for a diagnosis. Her doctor was flustered when she said “Thank you doctor, I’m going to Carnaval – we can talk when I get back in town!” – way to show how to relish LIFE, Mrs. Sima!!!!!!!”

The Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project is excited to announce our next subject – Anca Sima as “The Butterfly of Rio”. Anca is an outgoing, spunky, amazing woman who loves to travel and always knows where to find the fun! Right now, artist Barbara Porwit is in the drawing stages of her portrait. The unveiling will take place this October at Owatonna Hospital Allina in Owatonna, MN. Stay tuned for more updates!

Anca with the Christ the Redeemer, or Cristo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro: when I asked her if she saw this statue she got really excited saying ---- that’s a Romanian sculptor!!!!! What are the odds? (Anca is from Romania…..) Also, I think Anca is like Christ with her arms outstretched to all the world. Anyone who knows her would say the same. Anca, I think you are the Romanian SOCIAL Butterfly of Rio!

Anca with the Christ the Redeemer, or Cristo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro: when I asked her if she saw this statue she got really excited saying —- that’s a Romanian sculptor!!!!! What are the odds? (Anca is from Romania…..) Also, I think Anca is like Christ with her arms outstretched to all the world. Anyone who knows her would say the same. Anca, I think you are the Romanian SOCIAL Butterfly of Rio!

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Big news~!

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two women next to a superhero painting of Phoenix Rising

Lisa Dahlseid and artist Barbara Porwit share a moment next to the painting of Lisa as Phoenix Rising.

Hello folks — It’s been a while since I wrote – but there is actually BIIIIG NEWS~~~~!!!!!

I received notification in June that I am the recipient of a Next Step Fund individual artist’s grant from MRAC (Metropolitan Regional Arts Council) supported by the McKnight Foundation – WOW!

I will take this opportunity to take some mini courses at The Art Academy in St Paul (I started Artistic Anatomy a couple weeks ago…) and two semesters studying with master Joe Paquet in Lowertown.

WOW. This is a major honor. I will be spending a lot of time focusing in on craft this year. The BCSuperhero Project will continue (you will be hearing more soon about what’s up!) but – if you need me, I may be painting……call me at the studio……….

Best,

Barbara

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Paying Tribute

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Super-Hero-Portraits-Photo-by-Doug-Webb-Connect-Artists-2013-10-20-IMG_2144 (3)

(Image of Phoenix Rising here to help these three on their journey. Lisa herself is doing fine)

Today I have to take time to pay tribute. There have been a few incredible people who have made this world a much better place for so many who have come to the end of their lives with grace and dignity – one after a long full life and two others all too soon.

My drawing teacher passed away, I found out, in April. I by miraculous chance saw him in March and I got one more conversation with a beloved teacher. Even then, he was gentle, kind, patient, with just a little bit of wry humor that said, it’s OK, I understand. He is one of the (main) reasons I can draw like I do. What a treasure you were, Professor Cowette. Rest in Peace. Well done.

A master painter with an incredible zest for life and a fire within her that few ever glimpse passed a few weeks ago. I never got to meet you Vigee Blue, and the world has been robbed of all you would have done had you been given more time here.

A dear friend crossed over from this life last week. Debbie Sit, you were one of a kind. I will be forever grateful for your kindness, your gentleness, generosity and giving nature – not just to me and my son but to all around you, all the time. Even in the midst of your own trials and troubles you never complained, you always were making the lives of those around you easier and the world a better place. You and Peter have shown all of us how it should be done.

I am not a wise woman, I an bumbling through these things like we all do, and words so often are inadequate. But I pause to pay tribute to these wonderful people and the lives they lived. I am reminded that we all are here for just a short time to take our turn to do with what we are given all that we can. They certainly did.

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