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Cancer Center Commissions "Therapeutic" Mural

September 10, 2010
Cancer Center Commissions 'Therapeutic' Mural Stairwell Artwork Inspires Health and Healing Doug Schepman, 7NEWS Reporter http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/24721419/detail.html POSTED: 4:55 pm MDT August 22, 2010 UPDATED: 8:20 am MDT August 23, 2010 DENVER -- With paint brushes and spray cans, local artists Erin Kornegay, Bimmer Torres and Oli Ruiz are transforming the stairwell at Saint Joseph's Comprehensive Cancer Center into a work of heart. "Everybody knows somebody who has gone through cancer or passed away because of it," Torres said. "So it really impacts you emotionally to do this wall." The goal is to create a flowing mural that will motivate patients and employees to take the stairs and to encourage healing. "I think we just really wanted patients to be able to walk up the steps and each time that they do they can always notice something different," Kornegay said. "We've done abstract grass and also butterflies and incorporating quotes from patients." "The butterflies signify the sense they are flying, you know, like to give people wings, to give them hope," Torres said. The artists are just halfway through the five-week project, but the positive feedback is already pouring in. "We have patients that stop and say they love it and they feel good when they look at it, and the energy is palpable," said Ann Wilcox, director of business development for the cancer center. Suzanne Sanderson, a breast cancer survivor who returns to the center for annual checkups, is impressed by the mural. "It makes you want to feel happy and you know, kind of think positive thoughts which is really what is going to help get you through this process," Sanderson said. Who would have thought that 44 steps and some paint could have such an impact? "They are fighting, literally for their lives, so if a pretty color makes them feel better it's a great day for us," Wilcox said. The artists are donating their time and talents, even working on weekends, to make this project possible.