Art is said to have healing powers for both the artist and the viewer.
But participants in the recent “Arts for Life” competition also contributed to healing in a more tangible way.
The contest served as a fundraiser for both the Hope Pavilion Cancer Clinic and Elmhurst Hospital and Paddle for the Cure, which raises funding and awareness to fight breast cancer.
“It’s beautiful the way the artists come together,” said Michael Perlman, one of the organizers of the competition. “But we also want to support artists in Queens, to put a face on some amazing work. It was very engaging.”
All entries and the winning works were on display on Friday, April 30, both on Zoom and Facebook Live from the Forest Hills branch of the Ridgewood Savings Bank on Queens Boulevard.
All works came in one of four categories — photography, drawing, painting and mixed media.
Dorothy Stepnowska took first prize in the mixed-media category for her mural-sized “Covid-19 Memorial.”
Tina Zhao’s “Panny” won for best drawing with a work paying tribute to a frontline medical worker with all the attributes that have earned them the overdue recognition as heroes this past year.
Nelly Lester was honored with best painting for her work “Unravel My Heart.”
Amy Lipson took best photo honors with “N.Y. City — Home Base.”
All received $100 first prizes, donated by Ridgewood Savings Bank. Perlman said the final tally on donations still was being calculated.
Leah Salmorin is a breast cancer survivor who founded Paddle for the Cure, which raises money through Hawaiian boat race events. Her family also has a history of cancer and diabetes.
She said an art competition is much like her boating events as she believes art and water both have healing properties.
“It’s therapeutic,” Salmorin said. “Art is healing.”
She said all the artwork entered into the competition soon will be put on display at Elmhurst Hospital. In a statement promoting the contest, Salmorin said art is the key to healing that can touch one heart to another.
She also praised Perlman for his interest in supporting the artists from the Queens area.
“If a patient is in the waiting room and can see the art, energy goes into their system,” she said. “Art and water sports are holistic — both symbolize a renewal of the soul.”
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