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Year in Review: 2015 (Wow!)

Posted on by bporwit

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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Save the Date! November 17- Owatonna Hospital Healing Arts Exhibit

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Natalie Ginter, Director of Community Engagement and Development and Linda Hoffman at Owatonna Hospital

Natalie Ginter, Director of Community Engagement and Development and Linda Hoffman at Owatonna Hospital


Owatonna Hospital: Healing Arts Exhibit and Reception
You’re invited to view the new art exhibit and meet the artists at the program and reception for the Healing Arts exhibition, featuring:
Special guest speaker – Barbara Porwit, Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project; program will include the unveiling of our NEW portrait: Anca Sima, the “Butterfly of Rio”!
Carolyn Halliday and Kimber Olson, textile
John Idstrom, bronze
Pamela Kirton, mixed media
George Sierakowski, painting
Lynette Yencho, painting


Tuesday November 17, 2015

From: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: Owatonna Hospital
Address: 2250 NW 26th Street, Owatonna, MN 55060
Free event!

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The Naseema Omer Radio Show: Interview with Anca Sima (the “Butterfly of Rio”) and artist Barbara Porwit!!!

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Check it out! Our next subject, Anca Sima (the “Butterfly of Rio”) and the artist behind the Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project, Barbara Porwit, will be on the Naseema Omer Radio Show this week Saturday, Oct 3, 1p – 2pm. Tune in live!!

Anca Sima "The Butterfly of Rio"

Anca Sima “The Butterfly of Rio”

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!

Go to www.GCNLive.com SELECT Radio Program
THE NASEEMA OMER SHOW, and ENJOY!
INTERNET RADIO TUNE INTO:http://gcnlive.com/JW1D/index.php/showinfo?showCode=199
Questions: Call In Line: 866-582-9933
Listen to the show call in: 605-477-4662
Produced by Genesis Communication Network, Burnsville, MN
1:00PM-2:00PM Central Standard Time

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Anca and her Butterfly Wings

Posted on by bporwit

Check out these visitor’s drawings of Anca and her Butterfly Wings: We had some very talented individuals- (ie visitors to the studio during Art-A-Whirl)– help us with ideas for Anca’s wing design. What do you think?

Anca liked the carnaval mask on this one - let's see how Barbara incorporates this into the painting of her!

Anca liked the carnaval mask on this one – let’s see how Barbara incorporates this into the painting of her!

Anca liked the organic shapes and especially the lotus flower on this one: Barbara's not entirely sure yet if a lotus will make an appearance on the final painting but she's thinking about it.....

Anca liked the organic shapes and especially the lotus flower on this one: Barbara’s not entirely sure yet if a lotus will make an appearance on the final painting but she’s thinking about it…..

 Anca liked the "power bracelets" and the stars shooting out of her hands on this one - (check out the helmet too --- not sure it will make it onto the painting, but - cool!!


Anca liked the “power bracelets” and the stars shooting out of her hands on this one – (check out the helmet too — not sure it will make it onto the painting, but – cool!!

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Anca and her Butterfly Wings

Posted on by bporwit
Anca and her wing design!

Anca liked the antennas on this one- we’ll see how Barbara incorporates those into the painting….

Anca and her Butterfly Wings: We had some very talented individuals- (ie visitors to the studio during Art-A-Whirl)– help us with the inspiration of Anca’s wing design, check them out here!

Anca chose this one for the organic shapes of the wings. What do you think?

Anca chose this one for the organic shapes of the wings. What do you think?

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Breast Cancer Superheroes Featured at the UM Bio-Med Library!

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Phoenix Rising featured at the Bio-Med Library

Phoenix Rising featured at the Bio-Med Library

Radiation Diva featured at the Bio-Med Library

Radiation Diva featured at the Bio-Med Library

The Superheroes are now being featured in the University of Minnesota Bio-Med Library until October 2nd, 2015. Check out Phoenix Rising and Radiation Diva’s Full story here:

Phoenix Rising

Radiation Diva

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JUST LAUNCHED!

Posted on by bporwit
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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Paying Tribute

Posted on by bporwit

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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Join Us at the Event at Regla de Oro Saturday March 21st to Support Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project and the Angel Foundation Benefit!

Posted on by bporwit

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The Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project is very excited to have the support of Regla de Oro gallery owner Jessica Smith. Smith, who has deal with breast cancer in her own family, values the project tremendously and is taking the lead in developing merchandise featuring our supermodels to create a funding source for future portraits and to raise money for local patient support programs. Our first recipient organization will be the Angel Foundation at the reception on March 21, 2015.

During Barbara’s reception on Saturday, March 21st- 10% of all purchases at Regla de Oro will benefit the Angel Foundation, helping provide emergency financial assistance, education and support to adults living with cancer and their families.

This is a great opportunity to come and meet Barbara, buy her work, shop for fair trade gifts, check out Regla de Oro, and most importantly, support Breast Cancer Survivors in our community!

 

Time of event:

Gallery opening reception: March 21, 2015, 5-8pm

Gallery show: March 17–April 26, 2015

Location of event:

Regla de Oro Art Gallery and Fair Trade Gifts

2743 Lyndale Avenue So.

Minneapolis, MN 55408

612-886-1247

 

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A Note from Barbara

Posted on by bporwit

Closeup on Wonder Woman Katy's eyes

Hi everyone –

I usually am sending out posts to celebrate how great the subjects are in this project, and how amazing the journey is working with them and getting the message of hope and encouragement out there:

I am writing this morning because I need to talk about something. This week I got some information that I didn’t want to get, but I needed to. I’m horrified at it but I’m glad that I know.

One of the women my son and I work with at a cat rescue shelter has cancer. Not breast cancer, melanoma (skin cancer) – and, oh by the way, a mass on her adrenal gland too.  I had wondered what was going on when neither my son nor I were hearing back from her for feedback on a report he wrote about one of the special events we volunteered at. (I know she’s crazy busy but – usually she will get back to you —-)

When I asked at the shelter, our shift leader said, “She’s had surgery and is recovering…. she’ll be deciding when she is able to do shifts and things again…” – very discreet.

So – now I know. He blog posts read very much like the person she is – spunky, determined, totally going to forge her own path through this journey she now has to go through. Ultimately she will make the choices about what she has the ability to choose about, and accept whatever comes of it all. I’m sure there are also a lot of emotions she may or may not end up sharing in her blog – the public face of what she is going through.

But me – I’m mad. Mad and horrified. This woman is 47 years old. This is SERIOUS. Melanoma is not something you can mess around with – not this type anyway. And we need her. Her husband needs her. Her children need her. Her cats – foster and adopted cats – need her. All the cats and people at the shelter need her. The people she helps at work (guardian ad litem social worker) need her. And one could say, she probably herself doesn’t want to be contemplating one of the potential paths of this journey. This was not a part of her plan. Not at this point in her life anyway.

My first impression of this woman was one of the first times my son and I came in to the shelter, to see if it was a place my 8th grader with Aspbergers could volunteer. Her very red hair and totally personable demeanor stood out. It was obvious she was an important person there at the shelter. She was welcoming and supportive to me and my son – back then a couple of strangers.

Over time, we understood more what her actual position was: an adoption specialist- working with people coming in to the shelter to understand their pet desires and needs, and matching them to just the perfect cat companions, giving a lot of really good cat advice along the way.

She also took time and care to spend time one-on-one with my son. She seemed to “get” that he had a condition, accepted it and appreciated him. And helped him. I could see the attention she gave him, asking him about school, relationships, developmental milestones he was going through. (Made sense to find out her “day job” is a social worker..)

At the end of last school year, she approached me to ask if my son would be interested in shifting into an “internship” type position, working with her at special events, taking photos and being a “reporter.” She would be the supervisor, working with him to guide him. We had just done the first one of these events when — we didn’t hear back from her.

And I wondered. And now I know.

I know this project is all about being hopeful, and using fun and imagination to summon inner resources and come out “on top” – at least psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, but right now I am just mad. Horrified and mad.

This XXXX is real people, and it’s happening to people I care about. Way, way too soon. There are bigger conversations to be had about why, about larger systems that may be poisoning us, and what we could or should be doing about them – but in the meantime, there are people who are stuck dealing with this stuff NOW.

This is why I am doing this.

Thinking of all of you. All of us.

Barbara

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