FAMU “Paints a Cure” for cancer

The “Paint a Cure” fundraising event opened Wednesday in the Foster Tanner Arts Gallery. The event, which was hosted by the Student Government Association, displayed and auctioned artwork to promote breast cancer awareness.

Mediums of acrylic painting, mixed media and black and white photography were located on the first and second levels of the gallery, while soulful music played in the background. The artists who created the works each wore black.

Co-chair for Relay for Life and organizer of the event, Jamilah Cherry, 20, a junior arts and science student from Oakland, Calif., was inspired by her aunt, who has breast cancer and her own talent of painting.

“I wanted to heighten awareness about breast cancer and showcase student talents,” Cherry said.

The photography collection of 19-year-old graphic design student Kristin Murray, from Jacksonville, reveals the chests of men and women in addition to pink accents and breast cancer-related messages that attracted spectators to the display.

“I knew that it was going to come out tasteful,” said Tiffanie Cash, 19, a sophomore criminal justice and biology student from St. Louis, who revealed her chest in Murray’s display.

“This is going to make people realize how important breast cancer really is,” Cash said.

  With a photography collection herself, artist Taylor Roby, 20, a junior photography student from Kalamazoo, Mich., chose from many options to make an impact, when deciding on the approach to her collection.

Eventually, she came up with the theme of what one can do for breast cancer.  In the photograph, “Fighting for the Cure,” a young man who is ready to fight, holds up boxing gloves, laced with pink accents. 

Roby said, she was pleasantly surprised at the event’s turnout and hoped her artwork would be auctioned off to a spectator.

Onlooker Kristoffer Bugsby, 22, a senior fine arts student from Atlanta, said he appreciated what the artists have done.

“I was in here while they were working on them yesterday and the artwork looks good,” Bugsby said.

Harris Wiltsher, the director of the gallery, said being able to experience the cultural side of Florida A&M University is priority.

“For the gallery program, it is important to extend to organizations and give them access to the gallery,” Wiltsher said. “I am happy we were able to assist them.”

There is no cost to an organization to use the gallery, but donations are accepted.  Donations will contribute to the Visual Arts Scholarship Fund, which the department is trying to implement this year. 

Excited with the turnout of the event and the artwork sold, Cherry was pleased. The exhibition will be open until Friday at 3 p.m. Items not auctioned off will be returned back to the artists or displayed during Relay for Life.

For more information about buying artwork or Relay for Life, one can send a message to Jamilah1.cherry@yahoo.com or relayfor life.org.