Becoming Women of Heart: Art for a Cause Recap!

10 Nov

Last Tuesday, the Photo Betties partook in an amazing event, one that inspired 13 Philadelphia area artists to create and donate a body of work to turn art into hope for thousands of families across the  area who are struggling with Cancer: Women of Heart: Becoming Art for a Cause. While it took the help of many to bring this dream to life,  no one worked harder than Katie Bradford Obsbourne, the founder of Women of Heart – who dreamed up this amazing idea in order to honor the memory of her father – another victim of Cancer. Katie not only created the idea for the cause and carried it through to success, but she inspired over a dozen other artists to follow her lead and submit some beautiful work that went on display on November 2nd at Studio 5 in Philadelphia.

A concept born from the grief of losing someone so dear to her, Katie wanted to find a way to use her art to flip sadness on it’s head and create a movement that would not only help heal those wounds, but would help others who are now battling the disease. “I think the thing I’m most proud of is giving myself a chance to have good memories that day by doing something. Instead of making a day that was HIS- his 60th birthday- about me and my grief. Or about grief at all! A birthday is a celebration of life, and I certainly celebrate that he was here for almost 57 years”. And so the gallery was filled with amazing pieces of her work and many others, and after months of determination and commitment, Women of Heart came to life. “There was a moment I’ll never forget when everything was up, and I stopped and just looked at it all. I could feel my dad saying, ‘I’m really proud of you, Sugar,’ and it just hit me that I really made it happen.”

Along with Katie’s body of work, juried pieces from Catherine Bogart-Rome, Brendan Burke, Caitlin Domanico Katherine Fraser, Brittany Koch, Patty Kropp, Helen Orombi, Jennifer Osborne, Alix Passage, Jenna Walcott, and  Christie Young displayed their work throughout the gallery and musical artist Matthew-Billy Williams of Williamsboy Band performed soulful sets of acoustic guitar that created the perfect atmosphere for the crowd. The event drew over 60 people to North Philadelphia to view the works and purchase and donate for the cause, The Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia.

Katie featured two main bodies of work for the event, The Women of Heart Series and Mixed Media. “My Portrait of a Woman program is my passion, and this is exactly why. These are all regular women who put aside their insecurities to ‘become art for a cause,'” speaks Katie about the Women of Heart Series, “and mixed media is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I’ve always been fascinated with it- it’s a different way of thinking when your photograph is the jumping point instead of the finished product. I played with alternative printing techniques, interesting materials such as tissue paper, and LOTS of black acrylic paint! The end result is something I am truly proud of as an artist- these pieces really reflect me- who I am and where I’ve been”.

Totals from donations are still being calculated, but regardless of the number there is no question that this event was a true success and marks only the first of many of it’s kind. “Now that the event is behind me I’ve had a chance to think about where I would like to see it going, and I know for sure that it’s not over! It’s a little up in the air where I’ll be this time next year, but wherever I go, I can certainly see Women of Heart following me. I am SO passionate about this cause – being able to, in some way, do my part to help others whose lives have been affected by Cancer and also give other artists a way to do that, too.”

Donations can still be made in the name of Women of Heart toward the Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia. Contact Katie for information on how you can contribute or get involved.

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One Response to “Becoming Women of Heart: Art for a Cause Recap!”

  1. Rae Barnes November 10, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    This was an amazing event for a great cause! So happy to be a (small) part of it, and I hope it continues. Congratulations to Katie (and all of the other artists). 🙂

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