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Paintings at Sutter breast cancer reflect patient’s journey to remission

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 | Posted by

Jennifer Hirshfield-Levine in front of one of her oil paintings at Sutter Breast Care Center. (Photo by Emma Levine)

Jennifer Hirshfield-Levine received her breast cancer diagnosis soon after her second child was born. What should have been a time dedicated to raising her newborn child was filled with treatment for one of the deadliest human conditions.

Now in remission, Hirshfield-Levine poured her feelings into two series of oil paintings, some of which hang in Sutter Hospital’s breast cancer center.

“I first saw Jennifer Hirshfield’s paintings at the Sutter Breast Care Center during their open house last March and was impressed by how they lit up the space around them,” said Dr. Kalane Wong, a Santa Rosa ophthalmologist. “After the crowds left, I went back to the radiology waiting room and sat down to quietly appreciate the images. It was such a visual treat to be surrounded by those four large paintings.

“Individually and collectively, they exude a wonderful sense of both peacefulness and energy. I imagine a positive, healing effect on the patients waiting in that room.”

Hirshfield-Levine wanted patients in the cancer ward to draw energy from her paintings, she said, adding that she hopes her paintings provide inspiration and keep spirits high. She paints solid backgrounds with globules of bright color to help express the balls of energy she personally drew on to help her recover.

“I hope (other patients) will feel serenity, peacefulness and calm. I am so grateful I have the opportunity to show my work here,” she said.


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Ann Hutchinson is our Santa Rosa correspondent.
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