Artist and Breast Cancer Survivor Esther Pagan Profiles the Struggles and Beauty of Her Experiences in Esther Pagan: My Colors of Cancer, Curated by Longtime NYC Arts Leader William Aguado
(August 29, 2013 — Bronx) The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) and Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos College are proud to present Esther Pagan: My Colors of Cancer, opening October 2nd as part of BCA’s First Wednesdays Bronx Culture Trolley. My Colors of Cancer is a multi-media installation of photographs, hand-crafted hats, sculpture and poetry. The show is activated online through Ms. Pagan’s interactive web blog mycolorsofcancer.com. Esther was forever changed by breast cancer, especially after receiving the diagnosis over the telephone following a routine medical examination in 2012. This exhibit invites us to share as it celebrates her life, artistry and ultimate beauty created from personal struggle.
The special series of custom-made hats, utilizing a wide variety of materials, has been created to share the artist’s understanding of and response to being a survivor. They are crafted to express, engage and reflect how she worked through the trauma, the hope and the healing process. Photographs expose a sensual journey that shares the stages of her illness and the process of her healing. Pagan moves between her need for protecting and concealing and her desire to inform and expose. Photographic poses are coquettish and provocative, inviting the viewer to witness her transformation from cancer victim to cancer survivor. The works inspire dialogue and discussion on this ravaging illness. Finally, she employs the photographers lens to address healthcare issues of access, awareness and education, and the toll such illness takes across communities.
About The blog:
After surgery and recovery, Ms. Pagan documented her journey on mycolorsofcancer.com, focused on “a positive approach on combating breast cancer”. The blog authenticates Esther’s path — her moods and her ups and downs as she was recovering from breast cancer. This exhibit grew out of her reflections.
About the Artist:
Esther Pagan is a practicing artist and writer. She is also a NYS licensed massage therapist, trained at the Swedish Institute since 1999, and a graduate of the BCA Art Handling Training Program (AHTP) in 2010. She currently woks and lives in the Bronx. Her work was part of the group exhibition Impractical Hats at Longwood in 2010.
Public Programs (to be announced) will begin in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) — also referred to in America as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) — in October 2013.
For information and updates on a full schedule of BCA’s fall 2013 exhibitions and projects, please visit www.bronxarts.org.
Esther Pagan: My Colors of Cancer is made possible with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, NYC Council Members Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Annabel Palma and James Vacca, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Bronx Delegation of the City Council.