Art is a language that has no boundaries. It can be as simple as self-expression or a platform to discuss trying societal issues that injure us all - from illness, to human rights, to violence against women.
Most importantly, art creates a vehicle in which our society can understand and solve our challenges.
Thank you for joining us at Thomas Jefferson University, in conjunction with Punto a Capo and Qui Arte, for the art exhibition entitled “ART VERSUS CANCER & VIOLENCE: 24 Italian artists in the name of women”.
I would like to personally thank the artists of Qui Arte who work around the world to bring attention through their art to societal issues plaguing our communities. This exhibition will not only bring awareness to issues facing women but also to build upon the strong and historic relationship Thomas Jefferson University has with Italy.
Our relationship with Italy is deep - we have just created the first joint medical degree between Italy and the United States. At Thomas Jefferson University, we believe creativity is a core competency when training the health professionals of the future, and we have made art and the humanities central to our curriculum. Through this exhibition, I hope you can see the importance of art not only to our students but to our university and to society as a whole.
I am deeply affected by today’s artists from Italy, and by their commitment to shining the light of art. Welcome to each of you, as you join us for this exhibition.
Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA
President, Thomas Jefferson University
CEO, Jefferson Health
Everything happens suddenly. In a few seconds, a new, painful awareness wounds us like an unspeakable insult, it hits us in the face like a fist. It is in those few seconds that our perceptions of us and of the world change.
What opens our eyes can be the umpteenth abuse, humiliation, family violence. Or even the ghastly news of being ill with a serious disease, like cancer. In both cases, if you are a woman, the pain of the violence endured or the suffering of an illness are experienced in silence, solitude, almost like a punishment to atone for. Statistics, both in the States and in Italy, say that in most cases people do not even have the financial means to defend or look after themselves.
Women’s pain is usually passive and silent, introverted, often hidden even to themselves. A denied pain, which does not ask for help. This exhibition intends to focus, through artistic works and diverse interpretations, on how women experience pain, violence, cancer as factors that threaten their life. As an art historian, I believe that the subject of women’s suffering ought to be further investigated, not only as a social issue, but also in its forms of expression.
As this exhibition’s setup and communication curator, I wanted that the shock of realization of violence, or an illness, be represented by the large eye of a woman, in which the image of a fist is reflected. This image serves as a bridge between Italy and the United States, because in Italian schools it has become part of a campaign raising awareness amongst adolescent girls to indeed help them “open their eyes” on many small signs of distress and family violence. In this exhibition, to “open one’s eyes” is the first form of awareness that makes us realize that we must fight the pain and the illness with two important means. On the one hand, art as a liberation from inner anguish and as a vital creative expression. On the other, medical science as prevention, acceptance, treatment and cure, here represented by the Jefferson Health, an institute of excellence whose philosophy does not encompass research and innovation alone, but, more importantly, seeks the “taking care of the person”. For a full recovery of body and soul.
Exhibition setup and communication curator
founder and Creative director Punto a capo
The exhibition is organized around the works of 24 contemporary artists, including one Canadian, recounting women’s pains, their wounds, but also their strength and their ability to start over, with different stylistic codes through painting, ceramics and digital art.
The works of Veronique Massenet, Nicoletta Conio, Gabriella Soldatini, Maria Paola Chiarlone, Luciana Bertorelli and Rosanna La Spesa deal with these themes in vibrant ways: physical pain and violence cannot annihilate a Great Woman, who gathers inner strength and continues to live and fight for herself and for others, using the Light that she carries inside.
In Wildago, Rosalina Collu, Ingrid Mijich, Gabry Cominale, Fiorenza Orseoli, Cristina Mantisi, Rossella Bisazza the images become light, like subtly self-ironic icons that are very sharp in their simplicity.
The female aspect, the sweetness and inner strength that are the inherent hallmarks of most women are highlighted in the works of Caterina Massa, Enrica Capone, Giovanni Massolo, Carmen Dragone.
Claudio Bellino creates a very lyrical image of the Woman that is emphasized by his masterful use of chiaroscuro, similar to the way Bluer envisions cosmic space through suspended lyricism.
The signature style of Valeria Bucefari from Perugia reflects her cultural background in the way she uses the symbols that enrich her oeuvre, as is also the case with the works of Laura Di Fonzo and Monica Porro.
Cecilia Cavicchini offers another and very apt homage to Betsy Ross of Philadelphia, the seamstress of the first American flag, according to legend, who is seen here as a symbol of the humble work typical of women throughout the ages.
The historic artist Nenne Sanguineti Poggi concludes with her work “Eternal warring (eternal violence)” in which, with bold and intense colors, she captured a vision of universal pain that has never changed or settled despite the passage of time.
Vice president qui arte association
The exhibition “Art vs Cancer & Violence” has been sponsored by the national chairman of LILT, professor Francesco Schittulli, a mastologist, oncologist and surgeon.
LILT – Italian League for the Fight against Tumors has chosen to sponsor this exhibition because of the dignity and new life that are in the timeless figures of art. Hoping that the fight of today’s women, against violence, pain and illness, is a victorious one that will make them shine even more than ever.
In keeping with LILT’s goals, this exhibition could offer an opportunity to give international visibility to the Association, also in tandem with other Italian and American medical organisations, to inform and educate on health and prevention, to raise awareness amongst a growing number of women on the importance of prevention and early diagnosis of tumors.
Wally De Pirro
LILT Savona chairwoman
Exhibition setup and communication curator:
Project supervision and organization:
Ignazio R. Marino, MD, ScD - Thomas Jefferson University | Roderick MacNeil - Thomas Jefferson University | Irene Avino - Punto a capo comunicazione
Concept and graphic design:
Catalogue printed by:
Photomontage on cover:
A special thanks to:
Pier Attinio Forlano | Jacob Landman | Francesco Paris | Vincenzo Sanguineti | Deborah Sanguineti | | Claire Jeanine Satin | Lynne Cutler