Betsy Evans
“Mrs. Evans, we have detected a large mass in your left kidney.” These were the words I dreaded hearing from my doctor in the winter of 2016, and with them, so began three years of surgeries, treatments, chemotherapy, and rehabilitation from four separate occurrences of cancer. Everything changed that winter. I had never been truly sick before, never had surgery, never thought about the precariousness of health. I pride myself on being healthy, active, and strong. Almost overnight, these integral parts of me were waylaid by something that came out of nowhere. I was ambushed, taken captive, and tortured by my own body, and I was terrified. Then I noticed something. I noticed that during these dark and scary times, my imagination and creativity began to flourish in completely unexpected ways. Creativity became my new therapy, artistic expression became my new mindfulness, and through my work, I began to heal. My work grew into narratives about the preciousness of life. Animals, such as the goat, convey endurance, playfulness, perseverance and hardiness. The abundance of balls and heavy packs symbolize the overly burdened and scheduled lives we live. Animals on rockers imply the fragility of life and dare the viewer to play with the pieces. This experience has convinced me that art is a means to a stronger and healthier life. Taking the time to stop, breath, and create something can not only be inspirational but also therapeutic. The continuing dialogue with my work has given me confidence and comfort when I did not know if I could continue treatment. Where my work has given me comfort, I hope it makes you smile. Where it has made me thankful, I hope it makes you happy.


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