For the first time, Shepherd University's Relay for Life will include a display of several sculptures from The Bodice Project, an artistic effort to show support for those dealing with breast cancer. The sculptures will be on display in the Wellness Center Friday, April 7, beginning at 4 p.m. through Saturday at 4 a.m.
Artist Cynthia Fraula-Hahn started The Bodice Project in 2014 to support a friend who was going through breast cancer treatment and recovery. Fraula-Hahn used a wrapping process with plaster embedded gauze to create a cast of her friend's torso. The cast became the canvas for Fraula-Hahn to paint and embellish. Since then, a number of Shepherdstown-area artists have participated in the project by creating bodice sculptures.
The Bodice Project case statement says, "Survivors who have been interviewed about this issue have repeatedly mentioned the need to recapture the feeling of joy about their bodies. We have found that those dealing with breast cancer and its aftermath find emotional and spiritual healing when seeing their struggles and triumphs reflected in art. Rather than depicting the scars, and terror of their breast cancer, the artists involved in The Bodice Project have sensitively created works of art that provide comfort, encouragement, and a sense of affinity."
The case statement goes on to say the exhibit provides an opportunity for individuals to become part of the creative process by serving as models and participating in an interview, that breast cancer survivors value reflecting upon their experiences with the artistic aspect of the project and its impact on their attitudes about breast cancer in general. The Bodice Project includes anonymous quotes from the interviews in the exhibit.
Members of the community are encouraged to participate in Relay for Life. It will begin with a torch lighting on German St. at 4 p.m. The torch will be passed along a path to the Wellness Center where a survivor/caregiver lap will take place at 6 p.m. and there will be a luminaria ceremony at 10 p.m.
For more information about The Bodice Project, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thebodiceproject.org. For more information about Relay for Life, contact Rachel Moreno, community services and service learning coordinator at Shepherd, at email@example.com or 304-876-5402.