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~Raising Women’s Voices: Wellesley College Launches
Breast Cancer Awareness Month During October

Keynote Address To Be Given by Dr. Susan Love Oct. 6

For immediate release:
September 15, 2004

Arlie Corday,

WELLESLEY, 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 of remission.

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.”

Breast Cancer Awareness Month will open with an interactive event featuring the group Hurricane Voices on Monday, Oct. 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 Their Mothers.”

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 for more on the walk.)

For more details on Wellesley College’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, go to For more information, contact Elfman at

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


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