Mass. -- When Barbara Elfman talks about the importance
of breast cancer awareness, she speaks from the heart.
In addition to her own scare with the disease, she lost
a grandmother to breast cancer and has supported her
best friend through surgery, chemotherapy and the uncertainty
Elfman, a Wellesley College Davis Scholar and art history
major, is the coordinator for Breast
Cancer Awareness Month at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, which will be
held through the month of October. The events feature a
keynote talk by noted researcher and author Dr. Susan Love.
Like many of the events, the talk has been scheduled to
allow staff, faculty, students and the public at large
to take part. All events are free and open to the public.
Organizers will bring to campus leading artists, photographers,
writers and filmmakers, all with one goal.
“We’ll come together as a group to fight this disease,” Elfman
said. “We want to tap different college organizations
and the public outside of Wellesley to say it’s more
than wearing a pink ribbon in the month of October.”
Cancer Awareness Month will open with an interactive
event featuring the group Hurricane
Voices on Monday,
4, from 4-5 pm on Wellesley’s Severance Green. Hurricane
Voices’ Janet Colantuono will tell the story of how
one woman’s voice can make a difference.
On Wednesday, Oct. 6, from 1-2 pm in Jewett Auditorium,
Dr. Susan Love will present the keynote lecture. Love,
author of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book and the forward
to artist Hollis Sigler’s Breast Cancer Journal,
will share her medical expertise and her experience as
a leader of the breast cancer advocacy movement. Three
works by Sigler from the Davis collections will also be
on view at the Davis Museum this month. Other events, all
on the Wellesley campus, include:
”No Hair Day/Hair Stories” features a conversation
with photographers Elsa Dorfman and Karin Stack along with
Debbie Dorsey and Libby Levinson (two of Dorfman’s
portrait subjects) on Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 7-9 pm,
Collins Cinema. The event includes a screening of the video,
No Hair Day, and book signings with Elsa Dorfman (No
Hair Day) and Karin Stack (Hair Stories). Highlights include
photographs by Dorfman from her series of portraits of
three women undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and
by Stack from her series of self-portraits during her own
treatment for the disease. Wellesley professor Michele
Respaut will moderate. The video, No Hair Day, includes
material that may be difficult for younger viewers.
The Healing Garden,” a lecture by Betsy Tyson, on
Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 4-6 pm in the Margaret C. Ferguson
Greenhouses seminar room, will include a short video presentation
and discussion with Betsy Tyson about the Healing Garden
in Harvard, Mass., a community in a tranquil garden setting
that provides support and complementary therapies without
financial barriers to those touched by breast cancer. After
the talk, there will be an opportunity for those in attendance
to tour the greenhouses and ask questions.
A lunchtime gallery talk about the Sherrill Exhibition,
in the Davis Museum and Cultural Center’s Contemporary
Gallery, on Tuesday, Oct. 26, from 12:30-1 pm features
Elaine Mehalakes, Wellesley’s Nancy Gray Sherrill
Curatorial Fellow, who gives a brief talk about artist
Hollis Sigler’s “Where Daughters Fear Becoming
Ongoing in the Bevington/Duncan Galleries, visitors can
try out the new Peres
Maldonado ex-voto touchscreen. Three
members of the Wellesley faculty have written about a newly
acquired 18th-century Mexican ex-voto painting in which
a woman, Josefa Peres Maldonado, gives thanks for surviving
the excision of six tumors from her breast. Contributing
to the project are Wellesley professors Anastasia Karakasidou,
anthropology; Sharon Elkins, religion; and Jay Oles, art.
Their responses to the painting, and other information
about the conservation it underwent and its intended function,
will be presented on this touchscreen kiosk in the gallery.
A related open class, Anthropology 251, “Cultures
of Cancer,” will be held on Monday, Oct. 18, at 2:50
pm in the Museum Lobby. Wellesley professor Anastasia Karakasidou
and her students will discuss the works highlighted for
Breast Cancer Awareness Month in light of the material
culture of cancer.
A Parents’ Weekend gallery talk will be held Friday,
Oct. 22, at 11:15 am in the Museum Lobby with museum director
David Mickenberg discussing the Peres Maldonado ex-voto
painting and the newly developed informational touchscreen.
In addition, members of the Wellesley College community
will participate in “Making Strides against Breast
Cancer,” a walk on Sunday, Oct. 17. (Go to www.cancer.org/stridesonline for more on the walk.)
more details on Wellesley College’s Breast Cancer
Awareness Month, go to www.davismuseum.wellesley.edu/whatsnew/breastcancer.html.
For more information, contact Elfman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing
an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will
make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near
Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all
50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to