"Body Image/Body Essence," Massachusetts artist John Magnan's
powerful response to his wife's diagnosis of ovarian cancer, will be on display
from March 24 to April 27 at the Library Gallery Annex at Sacramento State.
As his wife, Mary Magnan, underwent seven years of ultimately unsuccessful
treatment for ovarian cancer, Magnan channeled his fear and helplessness into
wood, metal and medical castoffs, such as discarded chemotherapy ports and plastic
hospital ID cards, to create art that celebrates the resilience of the human
Artistically, "Body Image/Body Essence" explores the conflict between
"who I am" and "what I look like" faced by women with ovarian
cancer after invasive surgery and follow-up treatments. Using hair loss, the
well-known side-effect of chemotherapy, as the primary visual imagery, nearly
every sculpture deals with hair or its absence.
"Body Image/Body Essence" also addresses other aspects of changed
self-image, both heavy and lighthearted. Serious issues of scarring, fatigue
and fertility can be found in some pieces, but so can playful explorations of
"chemo brain," or hair that refuses to grow back the same as before.
Last year, Sacramento State and UC Davis Cancer Center formed a Partnership
to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities through Education, Research and Training,
with a goal of combining the resources of both institutions to promote cancer
awareness, prevention and early detection throughout the region, especially
in medically underserved communities. The Partnership has teamed up with the
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition to present this exhibition.
"We're proud to be able to help bring this exhibition and the series of
ovarian cancer awareness activities to our community and respective campuses,"
said David Earwicker, assistant vice president for research administration at
Sacramento State and co-chair of the Partnership Board. "It's a compelling
example of how Sacramento State and the UC Davis Cancer Center now work together
on aspects of cancer research, education and awareness to benefit everyone in
The partnership has planned a number of activities to increase awareness of
ovarian cancer among a variety of populations. At Sacramento State, young survivors
of ovarian cancer will tell their stories to nursing students, peer health educators
and women's studies classes. The artist, John Magnan, will personally train
student docents to lead tours of the exhibition.
UC Davis Cancer Center will host "An Evening with Experts," a free
community education forum at the UC Davis Cancer Center auditorium, from 5:30
– 7:30 p.m., on April 26. It will feature scientist-physicians from UC
Davis who are seeking earlier detection methods and more therapies to treat
"This exhibition gives voice to the patient's perspective," says Bonnie
Raingruber, director of the Center for Health and Human Services Research at
Sacramento State. "It reminds us to talk to patients during
routine screenings and to educate the public about this tragic disease which
is so easily ignored because of the vague nature of the symptoms."
The Library Annex Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays – Saturdays.
Admission is free. For more information, contact the University Library Gallery
at (916) 278-4189 or visit www.sacstate-ucdcc.com.
For media assistance, contact the Sacramento State Public Affairs office at
California State University, Sacramento Public Affairs
6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 (916) 278-6156 firstname.lastname@example.org