Healing Art Gallery

Inside the Enloe Regional Cancer Center

The Healing Art Gallery uses the power of art to inspire healing and wellness, featuring local artists touched by cancer. It is located in the main hall of the Enloe Regional Cancer Center and can be viewed by the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mid-April 2022 through mid-July 2022; ♦♦♦ Art by Jim Lawrence

Painting of cranesMy name is Jim Lawrence, and I can say I’m a “cancer survivor” because I’m still alive thanks to the Enloe Regional Cancer Center.

Cancer has affected me at different times throughout my life. The first time was when my dad was diagnosed with melanoma on his arm. He drove trucks with that arm out the window most of the time. I come from a large family of seven brothers and sisters, and we were all worried we might lose our father. But the surgery was a success and he lived until he was 95-years old. My brother also developed melanoma and later prostate cancer. He survived both. Our family was very lucky, and even though these experiences were scary, they also drew our family together by revealing how much we care for each other.

Then, a little over two years ago I was diagnosed with inoperable kidney cancer, and that knocked me back some. I thought, “Why me?” I was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis 10 years ago and now I must deal with this? I had some gloomy days. A few years ago, a young friend of mine was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer and I was amazed he could talk about it so calmly. But when I had to find a way to live with that same feeling, I soon realized I didn’t want to live the rest of my days scared, sad or mad either. So, I set about finding a way to also be at peace with it.

When I thought about my life, I realized how lucky I’ve been. Medical advancements have made our lives more comfortable, I was born into a loving family, my body worked very well for most of my life allowing me to play many years of softball and experience wonderful backpacking adventures. I can’t be happy about the cancer, but I’ve learned how to be grateful for the wonderful life I had and still have.

My therapy now is to keep taking the meds my doctor has prescribed for me that have allowed me to survive going on three years now. To live peacefully with the M.S. and cancer, I go kayaking every chance I get. I had to give up hiking but I can still move gracefully in a kayak. From my kayak I take photos, of birds mostly, and then sometimes turn them into paintings. The kayak and the birds symbolize freedom to me. I don’t want my life to feel dominated by my medical issues.

Thanks to Enloe Cancer Center for compassionate care and the opportunity to share my art. I painted in watercolor for many years but after many of my paintings burned in the Camp Fire, I decided to try acrylic paints. Painting has always been a solitary experience for me, so I don’t take classes. I’m still experimenting with the medium, using brushes and sometimes a pallet knife to apply the paint. I frequently try to achieve a realistic rendering of my subjects, but if I want to express more intimate feelings I paint in the abstract. I find it much more challenging. Once again, I feel lucky to have found a way to express my feelings that also offers me many hours of peaceful escape. I hope you find my paintings peaceful also.

If for any reason you want to chat, my phone number is 530-720-9047. Thank you.

Photo of Jo KusieFebruary 2022 through mid-April 2022; ♦♦♦ Art by Jo Kusie

Art is an expression of my truth. It is also a wonderful way to give vent to a myriad of emotions. As I watched my mother, brother, sister, son, and many friends go through the pain and struggle of cancer, it became a healthy way for me to express many of my negative emotions, such as anger, worry and fear.

Watching their struggle, there were no words, I could only watch and listen. As I processed what I was seeing and hearing from them, I discovered that my art was a positive way to release many intense feelings.

Although I have taken some art classes, much of my art is self-taught. I am continually learning especially through observation of other artists’ work and books on art and technique. I have also discovered that practice, practice, practice helps the caliber of my art. I try to sketch or paint as often as possible.

I do not have a favorite subject matter for my art, although I do see the influences of living in Northern California in much of my work. My art allows me to express my love of the ocean, nature, people and animals. I have many thoughts and feelings about the world in which I live. For me, it is easier to articulate all of this with medias such as ink, pencil and paint.

Painting of oceanI participated in Relay for Life for many years. I donated a number of my paintings to be raffled with the proceeds donated to the Relay. I have found creative outlets in different crafts, such as sewing and jewelry making. I have also painted a number of murals. I painted murals for Butte County’s Child Support Services and Children’s Services and Burger Hut. Some of the murals were done with the assistance of fellow artist Judie Noffsinger and other friends.

There is also great joy in watching others express their creativity. I was privileged to see this when I taught art at the Adult School, the GATE program and to different individuals. I have watched many disappear into their art and been rewarded with huge smiles as they see their finished creations.

I think that art is the best game in town. Even when my drawings or paintings aren’t going well, I’d rather be doing art than anything else. Whether my creativity is flowing or stifled, it is always a safety valve, a release and the best way of saying that which is difficult to express in words.

You can reach me at (530) 342-4523 or jkusie@comcast.net.

LaQueta profileNovember 2021 through January 2022; ♦♦♦ Art by Ray Eastman

The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself.  My paintings are a perfect example of this statement.  I started painting in 1973.  I was motivated by primitive paintings I had seen exhibited in a museum.  These were of 17th and 18th century untrained artists representing all walks of life.  These often-spontaneous creations were a significant representation of America’s past life.  The simplicity of the paintings encouraged me to try to duplicate this art form.  Looking back in time, I think it implicitly expressed my own dreams and aspirations.

To this day, I have never received any formal painting instruction. I have learned through books and observation of other artists’ paintings.  I have never wanted or sought formal training.  I feared it would change my natural instincts and artistic spontaneity in the creation of my works.  To me this was freedom of expression.

Following my attempt at primitive paintings, I decided to paint in a more realistic way.  Instead of painting from imagination, I started using photographs for accuracy.  I discovered I could duplicate the reality of a photo painted on my canvas, wood or other surfaces.  Eventually, I felt I was merely competing with photos for accuracy and not putting any sort of emotional or natural interpretation in my artwork. The experience did give me a more acute sense of visualization.  I had developed a new appreciation of how I see the world.

My next stage of development was motivated by my study of 18th century French artists of the impressionism era.  Names of famous artists such as Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh and many others invaded my thinking.  I realized that art does not need to look exactly like what you see but needs to be interpreted by how you feel as well. 

As I’ve aged in real and artistic life, I have felt a need to free myself from the bondage of my painting experiences.  Abstract painting has become my current genre.  I no longer feel compelled to paint what I see.  I now paint in a state of mind unfettered by conventional artistic norms.

About the Artist

 In 2009 due to his wife’s diagnosis of cancer, Ray moved to Chico, California, to seek treatment for her at Enloe Regional Cancer Center. Painting took on an importance in his life as a way to relieve some of the stress of living each day as   the caretaker for a spouse with cancer.  Through art he found one can truly live for the moment and thus find internal peace.

 Inquiries regarding purchase of paintings exhibited can be made at raymondeastman@comcast.net or by phone at (530) 514-6224.

Aug. 6, 2021 through Oct. 2021; ♦♦♦ Art by LaQueta Ponciana

LaQueta profile

In 2008, who would have ever thought that one painting would open the door to showing my art at the Enloe Healing Art Gallery? It is all because of my beautiful baby sister. As she was having one of her chemotherapy appointments, I painted her a picture of a ballerina dancing.

I called it “Victory Over Cancer.” I texted her the picture. She showed it to one of the nurses. That opened the door to a whole new world. Since that time, I have been painting and using the “God-given gift” to bless others.

I hate cancer! I lost my beautiful baby sister after one year of battling liver, lung and brain cancer. She was fun, loving, kind and full of zest. We became very close in the last year of her life. I wanted to make as many memories as possible. We had art projects we did together. We said prayers of thanksgiving on our drive to her chemo appointments. We shared many laughs and crazy inside jokes.

I helped in the care of my grandmother. She was a survivor of colon cancer. I cared for my daddy. He had liver cancer. My brother-in-law had a tumor on his jaw the size of a grapefruit. The doctors never had much hope for him, but through great prayer, we watched as the chemo shrank the tumor from his very first treatment. It was incredible. He has been cancer free for four years now. God is so good.

Without any lessons, but a God-given gift, I sit with paint brush in hand. I never know what is going to flow from the fingertips — bold, bright colors to baby pastels. How about cheerful sunflowers to brighten one’s day? Or a moonlit evening on your wall to display? I am inspired by each new stroke as my brush dances across the canvas to create fresh new paintings: sunrise, starry skies, angels, moonlit nights. My goal is to be able to bring joy to one’s heart and beauty to one’s wall.

LaQueta Star Night art

Painting has been very therapeutic for me. All because of one simple painting I painted for my baby sister.

I dedicate the painting, Victory Over Cancer, and this show to my sister, Sandra Lynn Ponciano (Sally).

- LaQueta Ponciano Benamanti

Find me on Facebook at LQ Eccentric Art.


April 2021 through mid-July 2021; ♦♦♦ Quilts by multiple artists

The Banners of Hope quilts were first installed at the Enloe Regional Cancer Center in 2010 to lift spirits and create a healing environment. First envisioned by Judith K. Johnson, a cancer survivor and former patient of the Cancer Center, these pieces were lovingly craft ed by quilters throughout the North State. The quilts featured here are new submissions, and they represent the next generation of Banners of Hope.

If you or someone you know is interested in submitting a quilt, please contact Rebecca Senoglu, the Cancer Support Program Coordinator, at (530) 332-3856 or rebecca.senoglu@enloe.org.

Quilt featuring birdsFinding the Way
by Asya Lesly
Artist statement: 
Like so many people, I felt lost when I found out that I had cancer.

My banner shows that many birds provide great inspiration. The ability to find their way is crucial for survival.

The Steller’s jay may travel to lower elevations in the winter, while the tiny Rufous hummingbird travels between Canada and Mexico.

Quilt featuring a pink warriorPink Warrior
by Asya Lesly
Artist statement:
The warrior pose requires balance, strength and flexibility.

May all those who are fighting cancer have all three. I don’t like to think of myself as a cancer survivor, but as a cancer ninja warrior princess with battle scars to prove it.

Quilt featuring birds in a nestNew Life Means Hope
by Judy Petrucelli (design) and Connie Adams (quilting)
Judy's statement: 
I participated in the first Banners of Hope project with Judy Johnson as a member of Annie’s Star Quilt Guild. I have been through cancer with my daughter and my husband. The many times I went to Enloe Regional Cancer Center with my husband for cancer treatment, I so enjoyed the banners.

Now I am starting my own journey of cancer treatment. Working on a Banners of Hope is an inspiration to me, and I hope, others.

As we go through the treatment process, all we have is hope. There are no guarantees. Rebirth represents hope to me.

Quilt featuring flowersThe Promise of Spring
by Donna Greenwald
Artist statement:
Lilacs are a sure sign that spring and new life is just around the corner.

This piece will always remind me of my dear friend Judy Johnson, who lost her battle to cancer in the summer of 2020.

She lives on in the hearts and minds of her children, grandchildren, and many friends.

January 2021 through mid-April 2021; ♦♦♦ Quilts by multiple artists

Quilt featuring butterflies Butterfly Fancy
by Missie Carpenter
Artist statement:
Cancer has touched, and taken, many people in my life.

Undergoing treatment is fraught with many emotions. The power of positivity cannot be understated.

Who can deny the positive joy of spotting a butterfly in flight?

Quilt featuring a beachThere’s Always Hope
by Char Miller
Artist statement: 
Cancer has touched our family, as it has many friends and families. My brother, Bob, and best friend, Linda, were lost too soon, and also my mother-in-law, Ann, whom I never had the chance to meet.

Connie Adams, who quilted this banner, and I picked a puzzle design because it reminded us of the puzzle table in the waiting area. The puzzles helped family and friends because puzzles bring people together.

Quilt featuring flowers of hopeJourney to Hope
by B.G. Crocker
Artist statement: 
My mom and grandma both battled breast cancer. A grandfather had stomach cancer; one of my uncles had bone cancer. My sister died from skin cancer. These beautiful people each displayed three characteristics throughout their journey. They had courage to face their diagnosis, strength during treatment and hope for a better tomorrow.

Their courage, strength and hope inspire me daily.

Quilt featuring a light at the end of the tunnelLight at the End of the Tunnel
by Grace Crocker
Artist statement: 
“You have cancer.” These are very scary words to hear. My mother had breast cancer, now I had it! Would my three daughters inherit the gene? Thankfully, not.

I felt like I was in a dark place with no way out. Loved ones and medical personnel cared for and encouraged me, but I was headed into a long, dark tunnel. Cancer does that to you.

But time and good care changed things. Soon I was headed for the “light at the end of the tunnel.” Thankfully, that tunnel is now in the past, and I am enjoying that light. This quilt was made to commemorate my journey and the journey of many others as well.

Artist Diana Lynn Kearns July 24, 2020 through mid-January 2021; ♦♦♦ Art by Diana Lynn Kearns

My name is Diana Lynn Kearns, and I was born in New York state on Sept. 22, 1951. I lived in Hyde Park, where the Franklin D. Roosevelt home is located. After high school, I attended Dutchess Community College for two years and received my associate degree in commercial art.

While living in Pennsylvania, I took watercolor and calligraphy classes and did some freelance artwork. My jobs included ad work for several stores and doing Easter and Christmas displays for Ringler Decoration and Greengate Mall. In 1984, I moved with my husband to Durham.

DrawingWhat I love most of all is drawing beautiful designs with pencil, pen and ink using gold, turquoise, pink, and green metallic inks. They are done free hand. I’ve been doing them since I got out of college.

In 2006 I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. After a hysterectomy to remove my uterus and ovaries, I was cancer free. However, in 2017, I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer.

After surgical removal of my right breast and several lymph nodes under my arm, my cancer was determined to be stage 3.

God has taught me so many things throughout my life, and at this stage in my life he is teaching me about 100% faith. I follow him and trust him as I make my treatment choices.

I continue to use art to feel better. Doing art takes your mind off your body and takes you to a different place. Art flows right through me, and I don’t even consider it mine; I consider it God moving through me. Most of all, I have God in my life to teach, lead and guide me, and with lots of prayers he is healing me.

Artist Kimberly RachelleJan. 24, 2020 through mid-July 2020; ♦♦♦ Art by Kimberly Rachelle Ranalla

In 2008, while I was pursuing my art degree at California State University, Chico, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Everything kind of stopped. I had to focus my energy on something else entirely: surviving. All of my life roles — mother, wife, daughter, friend, artist and student — were tested. My teen children no longer had my focused attention. My energies drained; my life perspective forever changed.

My family and friends didn’t know how to treat me. Many were scared of how to talk to me. They were scared of the diagnosis and the impact it would have. Many treated me like a china doll: fragile and very breakable. I wasn’t. I didn’t break. Major changes were imposed on me and my family. However, I still felt like me. I still smiled and I still remained positive. And that is what strength and beauty are: keeping your positive essence. I have an infectiously positive attitude.

waterfall painting It took me seven years to get back to obtaining my degree, but I’m a better me because of what I went through. I have a new perspective on many things, especially myself and life.

After brain surgery, I was scared to paint. What if I lost my skill? Picking up the brushes the first time after surgery was heavy, but I pushed on. Relieved to discover I still had my skills.

I have used art multiple times as part of my healing journey, as a way to cope with my progressive hearing loss that began in 2003, as a conceptual vehicle to communicate my voice, as a way to connect to the unknown and into a daily watercolor ritual that helped me through a divorce.

Some days my fibromyalgia prevents me from doing large paintings, but I can always explore creating with small watercolors. I find my balance, my sense of well-being and my inner harmony when I keep art an active part of my life. Painting is my meditation and my favorite way to communicate in the world. I am inspired by nature, by natural rhythms and critical thinking.

Now I am 11 years out from brain surgery and 10 years out from chemotherapy. The support I received at Enloe’s Regional Cancer Center was unforgettable. I am beyond grateful to be where I am today and to continue to push myself out of my comfort zone, exploring everything life has to offer.

What am I up to now? I am an artist, businesswoman, mother, grandmother (nonni), an aunt and sister. I obtained an associate degree from Butte College in studio arts and business administration in 2017. I am a recent graduate from CSU, Chico, with a business degree in project management and consulting.

I have been a committee member for this Healing Art Gallery at the Cancer Center since 2012, and I am a city of Chico art commissioner. I am grateful for these experiences and the ability to contribute to my community. I am excited to see what the future holds as I continue to chase and catch my dreams.

I hope my story, and my way of being in the world, can help others to embrace all that they are and encourage them to live life as fully as possible with as much love, wonder, gratitude, and beauty as possible.

Oct 20, 2019 through Jan. 24, 2020; ♦♦♦ Art by Christine MacShane

I am often asked if I was always drawing and painting as a child. The answer is no. Born in Australia, I spent my childhood largely outdoors playing and exploring the world around me with my siblings. It wasn’t until I turned 12 that I discovered oil painting and then that was it — I had a love affair for life!

I travelled extensively until I settled in Northern California, where I raised my two children. As my mural and decorative art business grew, so did my fine art.

I have remained true to my painting philosophy of keeping the composition and form simple and colorful. My hope is that in doing so, I am able to convey a strong emotional connection with the viewer.

I am fascinated by light and its effect on shapes and have really enjoyed the world of negative space in my recent work. I like to focus more on the emotion of the piece than the realism component and have explored the figurative abstract with great satisfaction. Even in my landscapes, I celebrate color and light.

I began teaching 15 years ago in my art studio in Oroville. Later, I moved to Chico and continued classes through my studio. I taught at the Feather River Hospital Cancer Center until the Camp Fire. I was amazed and humbled by the courage of the patients who tried painting, even though they had never tried it before. Once they completed their first class, they came each week, come what may.

In response to the Camp Fire, I continue offering art therapy sessions at my studio in partnership with the Northern California Art Therapy Association.

I hope you enjoy my work and that you find a little of me in there … and a little of yourself.

If you would like to reach me, please call (530) 370-1285 or email christinemacshane@gmail.com.

July 20, 2019 to Oct. 19, 2019; ♦♦♦ Art by Connie Adams

Thank you for allowing me to share my watercolors with the Healing Art Gallery. I am a survivor of breast cancer and had a mastectomy 27 years ago.

Along with the help of my family and a support group, I was fortunate to have art and quilting as an outlet.

I have always been interested in arts and crafts. Mostly self-taught, my first attempt was oil painting, and I felt this wasn’t my medium. I then tried acrylics and charcoals, but I turned away from art when I discovered quilting.

White Orchards PhalaenopsisFor the past 30 years, I have been making quilts, and I designed one for the Enloe Banners of Hope project at the Enloe Regional Cancer Center about 10 years ago.

I also displayed a small quilt with Judith Johnson in the Healing Art Gallery in 2003. These past three years, I have discovered watercolors, and I was invited to join Amber Palmer’s Mind Vacation Art Classes.

Using her watercolor techniques, I feel like I am on a mind vacation! This opened new doors for me. With her instruction and guidance, I find that I am feeling so much more at ease, and I am just enjoying the process of painting and sharing my art with the community.

My husband, son and I moved to Chico 44 years ago, so I consider this my hometown. I am retired from the insurance field and very grateful to enjoy my life meeting new friends, painting, and getting involved with our community.

April 19, 2019 to July 19, 2019; ♦♦♦ Art by Antonio Ramirez

From the artist:

Hello, my name is Antonio Ramirez. I was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and was raised in the small town of Lamont, Calif., then moved to Chico, where I have lived all my adult life. Along the way, I became a graphic designer and photographer.

Throughout the years I have volunteered, providing graphic design, photography and support to organizations like the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Wondrous Women, the Chico Independent Film Festival, and Frontera. I have had the chance to photograph amazing concerts and award-winning Latin groups like Los Tigeres del Norte, Las Fenix and Graciela Beltrán, to name a few.

From the artist’s sister, Rosa Carmona:

My brother, photographer Antonio Ramirez, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in June 2016. His treatment consisted of surgeries, several sessions of chemotherapy, two bone marrow transplants, numerous medications and long stays in the hospital. After the second transplant failed, he was put on a newly approved chemotherapy. After his long battle with leukemia, he passed away on Feb. 25, 2019.

Photography was Antonio’s passion. He loved to take photos, and he always had his camera with him. During his illness, while in the hospital or his apartment, he would put together items that represented his treatment and would plan on how to position them in order to photograph them.

He saw the light in his struggle and found a way to find peace and positivity in his illness by doing what he loved: photography.

When he felt well enough, he put his mask on and went out to take photos. He would always tell me how he couldn’t wait to be able to go out and take photos. When he told me he was going to display his work in the Cancer Center’s Healing Art Gallery, he was very excited and couldn’t wait to start working on it. Getting back to his photography meant he was back to a normal life.

During his treatment he always referred to himself as being Batman and reassured us by saying, “I got this,” reaffirming his positive outlook on life.

An artist at heart, he loved life and took every opportunity to find the beauty of it with his gift of photography. He will always be remembered for being a lens that captured life.

Jan. 26, 2019 to April 18, 2019; ♦♦♦ Art by Beth Bjorklund

Beth Bjorklund is a wife and mother who took up painting again after 25 years of raising kids and keeping house. Now the kids are out of college and she can paint to her heart’s content.

Her favorite subjects are fruit, flowers and people she loves. “There are so many great things to paint,” she says, “and when I paint, I thank God for the beauty in everything, for my ability and for the time I have to paint.”

She attended California State University, Chico, and in 1979 received her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication design, with a minor in art. After graduation, she made her living as a designer/illustrator, designing logos and business systems, and doing package design, newspaper advertising design and layout.

She has won awards at the California State Fair for her 3D displays for Glenn County, including the Manager’s Award, Superintendent’s Award and most notably, the Innovation Award.

Her husband, Eric, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008. He went through radiation therapy, and when his cancer metastasized in 2017, he began chemotherapy. She and her husband appreciate the warm and caring staff at Enloe Regional Cancer Center. “The doctors and nurses here are like brothers and sisters to us,” she says.

“Sometimes art can be a creative outlet,” Beth says, “and other times, an escape into another kind of problem solving of how to get what I see there to be on my canvas here. Either way, it takes my mind out of the everyday thoughts and worries to somewhere else.”

Her paintings may be purchased in Chico at Zucchini & Vine at Second and Main streets, and at The Galley on Country Drive.

Please visit Beth’s website at www.bethbjorklund.com, or call her with inquiries at (530) 865-7125.

Oct. 19, 2018 to Jan. 25, 2019; ♦♦♦ Art by Marilyn Walsh

When I was in Mendocino, I kept noticing the naked ladies. Clusters of these lilies kept appearing in a variety of surprising and apparently random places.

Instead of blooming in the spring with the other lilies, these plants die down. Then, in August, they send up colorful, naked shoots with no leaves pushing their way through the dry grass.

When they reach their full height, they burst into bloom with elegant, pink flowers.


Naken Ladies Together

It was these naked ladies that led me to paint a whole series of their portraits. I am a retired teacher, who — at long last — has the time and energy to pursue what I have always really wanted to do: paint. When I am painting, I get lost in what I am doing and, before I realize it, I have been working for hours.

I have attended various classes and workshops, and for many years have studied with Sal Casa here in Chico.

Because I do my painting on the dining room table, I got started using watercolor for its ease of cleanup and lack of odor.

As I painted more and more, I began to appreciate the challenges watercolor represents and the effects it could produce. I really enjoy the way the paint flows onto the paper.

For subjects, I like to use things that are around me: ordinary objects and scenes from nearby. I enjoy finding interesting shapes and colors in unexpected places, and I do love details.

July 23, 2018 to Oct. 18, 2018; ♦♦♦ Art by Leslie Mahon-Russo

My first attempt at painting was done with a scarf wrapped around my bald head in a guest bedroom at home.

I still have that painting of fall leaves, an appropriate subject matter. 

It brings back poignant memories.

I didn't really paint again for eight years, when I retired from 35 years of nursing. But I did retain a huge desire to learn how.

I took drawing classes at Butte College, several more at California State University, Chico, and I continue taking painting classes from the extraordinary Sal Casa at the Chico Art Center.

I paint mostly abstraction. I love its freedom, sensuality and openness to interpretation.

That is why I rarely title my pieces.

I don't want to restrict the viewer's imagination.

I've seen many pieces of exceptional art in the Healing Art Gallery, and I am humbled and delighted to be displaying my pieces there.

May 11, 2018 to July 20, 2018; ♦♦♦ Art by Ernest W. King

I was born in Sacramento and have lived in the northern half of California most of my life. I spent three years in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Belgium and Germany.

My art draws its life from light, color and my impressions of the natural world. I am an impressionist painter.

I look at the landscapes and the beauty that the Creator has given us and interpret it on canvas. My work can be found online at www.fineartamerica.com and on Facebook. 

I have been in the Chico Art Center National Show in 2016 and twice in the Keep Chico Weird exhibit, in 2013 and 2014. I show my paintings at many venues in Butte County.

My works are on permanent display at the Yakima County Libraries in Washington and in private collections in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

I went to Shasta College and graduated in 1973 with an associate degree in fine art, painting.

I also went to California State University, Chico, and graduated in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in fine art, painting, and printmaking and a minor in world history.

I live and work in Butte County as a substitute teacher for people who have physical and developmental challenges. I use art in the classroom to engage student and encourage them to explore the creative side of their abilities.

In 2002 my wife, Marianne, died of ovarian cancer. It was very emotional and extremely hard on our children and on me.

In 2015, I met my present wife, Jevita, and we have made a life for ourselves here in Chico.

February 2018 to mid-April 2018; ♦♦♦ Art by Judy Richter

I began painting with watercolors in 1985, and instantly found solace and comfort through the creative process.

Then, in 2000, I had the unfortunate experience of hearing the dreadful words, "You have breast cancer."

After two lumpectomies and radiation treatment, I found painting to be my favorite escape.

Surgery came with limitations during the healing process. 

I loved gardening, and owned a nursery in Hood River, Oregon, yet I had limited use of my left arm.

I remember not being able to open the roll-up door into the shop, where we kept the riding lawn mower – which I loved!

Eventually, the gardening continued, both when I was in Hood River watching the maple trees and shrubs grow, and in the winters when I went to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, and watched the nursery of palm trees and vegetable garden grow.

I moved to Chico in 2011 to care for my mother and aunt, and discovered Amber Palmer’s watercolor Mind Vacation classes.

I find Amber to be a great painter and knowledgeable artist and find her laid-back instructional method delightful.

The class is also a great way to meet other ladies – and she has cookies!

Mid-October, 2017 to Jan. 19, 2018; ♦♦♦ Art by Jenny Marr

Jenny Marr is a retired professional botanist/biologist. Since 1995, she's been carving/sculpting soapstone and has created many finished pieces, including a white buffalo, several songbird pieces and numerous sculptures of the female human form.

In 2000 she began weaving baskets using native plant materials, including yellow pine needles, California grapevines, reeds and rushes.

Since 2015 Jenny has been watercolor painting and has continued studying and painting with this medium.

Finding and expressing through these various media has been a powerful source of personal expression and emotional release.

With her themes drawn from life and nature, she has found that the beauty and simplicity around us can inspire creativity even during periods of family or personal illness or turmoil.

The hard chunks of soapstone can become the soft curves of the human body; the endless woven spirals of the pine needle baskets represent the spiral of life eternal; and the round, whole finished shapes of the completed baskets represent the sacred vessel of the human body.

The brilliant colors of watercolor paints, inspired by the colors of nature, blend and meld in brilliantly fluid and imperfect (and often entirely accidental) ways, which is so expressive of how each of us grow, learn and heal throughout our lives.

July 14, 2017 to mid-October, 2017; ♦♦♦ Art by John Schmidt

I was a family practice doctor in Orland from 1980 to 2013. I come from a long line of Orland locals. I went to Orland schools from kindergarten through 12 grade and graduated from Orland High School in 1963.

I went to UC Berkeley, where I majored in science/pre-med. I was able to play football at Cal and won an NCAA academic/athletic scholarship. I went to UC San Francisco Medical School and then to UC Davis for a family practice residency.

I served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Washington and was sent to Pennsylvania to provide care for Vietnamese families for three months. That was a very enlightening service duty. At the completion of active duty, I settled in Tacoma/Gig Harbor, Wash. When the rain became too much, I returned to California in 1980.

Back in Orland, I opened my office and also worked at Manville Plant, at Glenn General Hospital Care Unit for addiction treatment, and was on staff at Enloe. My career as a family physician has been the most enjoyable, stimulating, thought-provoking, engaging and rewarding experience of a lifetime. 

I have had the privilege of really knowing so many of the best people in the world, and they all live right in our town. The rural lifestyle is a most excellent way to live! I currently live in the country near Chico with my wife, Barbara. I am enjoying time with her, my children and grandchildren.

I thought working in the medical field and the many challenges of my life had prepared me for the "final exam." My father's death and my divorce and professional stresses had taught me many lessons about "self" and the need for awareness of a spiritual part of me.

I had lived with serenity in the presence of chaos for a long time, and I felt comfortable with the support I had to maintain it. However, when I was diagnosed with a non-curable form of cancer (a cancer my friend had died from two months after his diagnosis), I was unable to maintain serenity. I felt shattered and vulnerable. I had intellectually thought about dying, but now its presence sent me into a state of shock and paralysis.

Art had helped me see my dilemmas in the past. So I decided to start painting about my situation. I exhibited the first show of my work in the spring of 2016. A compilation of the paintings has been printed in a book called "Experiencing Oneness." The work is ongoing, and I am now in the process of painting a series about re-inventing and accepting myself while exploring the various "forests of support" available to me. This exhibit is a combination of both series.

April 14, 2017 to July 14, 2017; ♦♦♦ Art by Ann Pierce

Ann Pierce writes, "As a survivor of breast cancer (I had a double mastectomy), painting has been a way to relieve the pain. The event that triggered the most sorrow in my life was the death of my son Kevin to brain cancer. The world will suffer from the loss of his genius mind as an architect."

Ann Pierce grew up in Boulder, Colo., in an environment surrounded by art. 

Both of her parents were art teachers and served as continued sources of encouragement and inspiration. 

Ann, a professor of art for 31 years at California State University, Chico, has received numerous awards and recognition in regional and national exhibitions. 

She has been listed in "Who’s Who in American Art" since 1984.

Jan. 2, 2017 to mid-April, 2017; ♦♦♦ Art by K.W. Moore, Sr.

Ken Moore writes, "When I first came in for treatment at the Cancer Center in the summer of 2015, like most people, I had no idea what to expect. But I found that my work got me through. I painted nearly every day throughout chemo. There were very few days when I couldn’t get in at least an hour of painting. It kept my mind occupied. " 

Ken Moore was born in 1946 and grew up in the mountains of Northern California. He knew he wanted to be an artist before school age, spending hours at his kitchen table drawing and painting wild life.

The fascination of drawing, in detail, every feather on every bird brought him the discipline and dedication from the very start. Selling his first piece of art at the age of 14 made him believe he could earn money doing something he loved.

His father's ranch, The Diamond Horseshoe, gave him the exposure to horses and the working cowboy, which became natural subjects. This led to many portrait commissions.

As the years passed and Ken's family grew, he continued to focus on his drawings of these great subjects. In 1977 his work became widely recognized in a series of prints titled "The Men of the West."

Over the years, Ken's drawings and paintings have been in top cowboy art shows and auctions, including the C. M. Russell show in Montana, The Ellensburg Show in Washington and the Western Art Roundup in Nevada.

Because Ken's grandfather was full blooded Choctaw and an artist himself working in wood producing carvings and furniture, Ken always felt a strong connection and pride in the American Indian.

In 1984 a collector of Indian artifacts asked him to do a series of drawings and paintings showing life on the Navajo Reservation. This commission produced a wealth of subject matter for years to come. His work soon included Indians he met from many tribes.

Since moving back to California three years ago, Ken has done a number of local landscapes and bridges.

These include landscapes around the Butte Meadows and Paradise areas and bridges, including the Honey Run Bridge, the Oregon City Bridge and the footbridge at the Oroville Fore Bay.

Oct. 14, 2016 to mid-January, 2017; ♦♦♦ Art by Daphyne Altman

Unafraid to try
Whatever is colorful
Whatever brings joy
I never forget
That too much
Is not enough.

I have not had formal art training in painting or drawing. I consider myself a self-taught, naive, decorative artist—starting as a child old enough to hold a crayon.

A great love of crafts has let me indulge my long life in pursuing many of them. My main passions are creating and color, but somehow I never get far from painting and drawing.

When creating, you are lifting your spirits, which I am sure helps healing. In my case, at age 52, I had a radical mastectomy, and at age 62 I had a mastectomy. I am now age 93 and have done lots of creating. 

I want to thank the Enloe Cancer Center for giving me the opportunity to display some of my endeavors.

Previous works on display

July 18 to Oct 14, 2016 ♦♦♦ Poetry & Art by Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Joan Goodreau, Caroline Burkett, Barbara Luzzadder, and Reta Rickmers

Poetry and Art, natural companions. For everyone, the cancer experience brings unique emotional terrain, and expressing feelings through words or images can become a path to healing. When shared, the effects multiply, to embrace you, the viewer, as well. 

In the long history of one art form responding to another, here are examples of the visual artist inspired by the poem, the writer spurred to words by a painting, or the happy instance of one existing work perfectly illustrating the other. Ekphrastic art, such interplay of forms, can be found in galleries and classrooms and, yes, in medical centers.

To see the poems and artwork together, visit the Healing Art Gallery at Enloe Regional Cancer Center.

Photograph, from left: Barbara Luzzadder, Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Reta Rickmers and Joan Goodreau (not pictured: Caroline Burkett)


Caroline Burkett writes, “I’ve been out of the art studio for a long time. So it was a pleasure to say ‘yes’ when Joan Goodreau asked me to do a photograph for her collection of poems ‘Open In The Back.’ Joan is a survivor of cancer and little did I realize I would be following in her footsteps three years later. I’ve always enjoyed Joan’s poetry for her humor in facing life’s challenges. She is a courageous woman, mother and friend.”

Caroline graduated with an MFA from Mills College, Oakland, Calif., and a BA from California State University at Hayward, developed the Ceramic Sculptural Program for adult persons with disabilities at Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, Calif., taught ceramics and sculpture at Chico Art Center, Butte College, Richmond Art Center, Creative Growth Art Center and Studio One Oakland, and has exhibited artwork throughout the United States, Denmark and France as well as locally at the Chico Art Center and Butte College. Her latest interests are combining photography and graphics to tell pictorial stories of Butte Creek Canyon’s wildlife and ecosystem.


Barbara Luzzadder is a photographic artist, influenced by her background in the traditional arts. "Capturing and composing the subject's uniqueness through the camera lens is only part of it. Finding the story and giving it a new dimension is the goal." She has exhibited and won numerous awards for her photographic art. Also a poet, combining her images with the written word has been her specialty as a guest speaker/exhibitor.

A former educator, Barbara holds a BA in Business, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, School Library/ Medial Specialist Credential and MA in education. Her Master's Thesis, "Motivating Children to Read and Write Poetry Through a Visual Experience," includes research on children's poetry, for which she wrote a series of children's poems and illustrated them with her photography.

A breast cancer survivor, Reta Rickmers is also an artist when she has time. "Art is about processing my life. I deal with memories, childhood, hardships, and hope. My art helped me immensely during the cancer healing process."

Rickmers works mainly in acrylics, collage, and block prints. She finds that art relaxes her and revitalizes her at the same time. For 26 years she has taught high school art at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico. She loves working with teenagers and helping them learn artistic ways to express themselves. She is the current recipient of the National Art Educators Pacific Region Secondary Art Teacher of the Year.


A Pushcart Prize nominee, Joan Goodreau has published numerous articles, stories and poetry in journals and anthologies in North America. Her recent books are "Strangers Together: How My Son's Autism Changed My Life" and "Another Secret Shared," which included poems about her cancer treatment. Her short play about cancer, Eviction, has been produced at Chico's Blue Room Theatre and the Enloe Regional Cancer Center. 

Patricia Wellingham-Jones is a widely published retired RN, former psychology researcher and writer/publisher. A cancer survivor, she has a special interest in healing writing, with poems recently in "The Widow’s Handbook" (Kent State University Press), and led the Enloe Regional Cancer Center's Telling Our Stories expressive writing group for years. Chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, End-Cycle: poems about caregiving, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, Voices on the Land and Hormone Stew.

April 15 to July 15, 2016 ♦♦♦ Works by Susan Caron Proctor

Artist Statement: My name is Susan Caron Proctor and I majored in art at Marymount College in Southern California. In 1981 I received a Graphic Art Certificate from UC Davis. Over the years I have worked and exhibited in watercolors, acrylics and pen and ink. For the last 20 years I have centered on scratchboard.

Scratchboard is a piece of masonite covered with a clay substance. I apply paint on the surface. After the paint is dry, I incise the colors with a knife to create lines or larger negative spaces. Using this method, hidden figures can be drawn while still maintaining the original painting.

My Father was an artist, so due to this exposure I started to draw at a very young age. The feelings of happiness, humor or worry that I experienced growing up soon began to be expressed through my art. I refer to this place where I hold my feelings as my “Secret Garden.”

The longer you look at my paintings the more you are drawn in and images begin to emerge in unsuspecting places. These hidden images are expressions of my feelings during my creative process. And the Art of Healing begins. Cancer touches us all, whether it is your brother, lifelong friend or even oneself. You may find yourself as a caretaker or a friend that lifts the spirit. We are all involved.  Sometimes through the Art of Healing we can find our Secret Garden and our spirit will be lifted.

Jan 14, 2016 through April 13, 2016 ♦♦♦ Works by Tom Kocotis 

Artist Statement: My art career has evolved since I graduated with a B.A. and M.A. in the Art Department at California University San Jose.

My desire from the beginning was to control watercolor, oil and pastel mediums with precision. The professors at SJSU provided me with a wealth of knowledge in controlling these traditional mediums. Their philosophy and techniques were a great influence on my artistic interpretations for the last 40 years. My artwork has been displayed throughout the Bay Area and Northern California, San Francisco, Saratoga, Napa, Yountville, Chico and Orland.

During my retirement I was diagnosed with lymphoma. That created a mental set back while I was under treatment. I patiently waited the treatment out and returned to my painting schedule. So far so good. My family relocated to Chico in 2000 from the Bay Area. I find the landscape in Northern California to be romantic and ideal for my artistic interest particularly the buildings, barns, trees, water, people, large fields, stones, lakes and rivers. I feel the viewer can access personal pleasure when viewing my work as everything is representational and in some way connected to one‘s day to day surroundings.

Thank You for a Successful Celebration of Healing Arts

The foyer was standing room only on Thursday, Jan. 14 as Barbara Aguilera and John Los performed “Eviction,” a 10-minute play written by Joan Goodreau, local author and cancer survivor, after her successful diagnosis and treatment.

A moving poetry reading by Patricia Wellingham-Jones and rousing musical interludes by the band “Untethered” rounded out the performance. Many thanks to our volunteer Healing Art Committee, the featured artists and toall who contributed to the success of the Celebration of Healing Arts at Enloe Regional Cancer Center.  


Oct. 14, 2015 through Jan. 13, 2016 ♦♦♦ Kiln-Formed Functional Art Glass by Dia Kimm

Dia Kimm’s current collection of fused glass plates and serving trays are influenced by the lovely and timeless appeal of a traditional silk kimono. The Kimono Collection accentuates line, texture and balance – function with a dramatic flair that entertains the eye while presenting ones favorite food. Dia Kimm is a native Californian.


Artist Statement: Before I went back to college in my 60s, I designed leather garments in the early '70s to 1999 along with my husband of 45 years. I stepped away from my sweet life with Walter to be with my brother during his final battle with cancer. I went back to college in my 60s. I was diagnosed with cancer; surgery then chemo then recovery and survival.

I returned to school, was hired by Butte College Child Development Center as a Master teacher and retired 2 years ago. Walt and I have lived in Hawaii, Central America, and Europe; we have travelled overland through the Middle East to India taking eight months. Our many adventures include Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Today I care for my 89 years healthy Mother. I love creating functional pieces of Art Glass. There are limitless possibilities that glow and shine and make me smile. I love seeing the effect glass has on others.

 For inquiries about the work, contact Dia at (530) 877-2708, or waltanddia@netzero.net.

Previous works on display in 2015

Artwork by Barbara Anne Ramsey

Barbara Anne Ramsey is an artist that lives the life she creates in her art. Born in Susanville, California, she spent her formative years growing up in the ranching country of Northern California in the small town of Adin. Her family moved to Paradise during her early teen-age years where the rest of her family has resided since 1932. She has work published in the Best of Colored Pencil 2 (1993). 

Her most recent awards are 2007 Heritage Roundup Award at the Annual Western Art Roundup in Winnemucca, Nevada; 2013 second place in painting at the Red Bluff Bull & Gelding Sale; 2013 first place in colored pencil at the Draft Horse Classic Art Show Grass Valley, CA. She has spent the last 35 years as a professional artist, participating in many juried shows and winning several awards.  She has much of her artwork in private as well as corporate collections with several limited prints. She has taken workshops with wildlife artist Greg Beecham, Chad Poppleton and Julie Chapman. For inquiries, contact Barbara at 530-872-2953 or at www.barbaraanneramsey.com

Artist Statement: My love of nature and the western way of life will keep me drawing and painting as long as I can. I felt this show was a good way to honor my mother who passed away 4 years ago from ovarian cancer, and my daughter who was just diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. My Mom was so proud of my art and had several art works that I did for her even though she could never understand my love of animals.  When she was sick, doing a little art each day helped me deal with the stress and get through the tough times of caring for her. Happy Trails…

The Three Bays" (Colored pencil)

Watercolors by Candy Matthews

Artist Statement: When I was asked to show my work for the Enloe Cancer Center, I felt incredibly honored and then thought about what I would paint. After tossing about many different ideas, I decided to paint “Life.”

Paintings that represent life and growth and the beauty in the world around us. And in my mind, flowers, birds, and fruits all exemplify life in the most perfect way. Birds sing with joyous voices, and flowers and fruits thrill us with their incredible colors and shapes and tastes. Perhaps my paintings will bring happiness to those who need joy. These paintings honor my mother and then the many other people who I have lost from cancer. What a special opportunity.

“Finch on Peony” (Watercolor)

The work on display was: “White Camellia,” “Meyer Lemons,” “Clay Bottle with Dogwood Blossoms,” “Magnolia Pod,”and “Onions From My Garden.” For more about Candy Matthews and her work, visit candymatthewsart.com.


Ceramic Wall Hangings by Tedo Best

Artist Statement: Tedo Best grew up in Illinois and attended Northwestern University and the Chicago Art Institute. She works primarily in clay, and her pieces have been shown in Mendocino, San Francisco, San Jose, Chico, and Reno, Nevada. Tedo was treated for breast cancer in 2000, and is happy to be a survivor. She greatly enjoys clay and its many possibilities. Among the wall hangings on display at the cancer center was this piece, entitled "Roots."




  • video-img

    Drs. Voelker and Lobosky honored with 2014 Physician Legacy Award

  • video-img

    Drs. Voelker and Lobosky honored with 2014 Physician Legacy Award

  • video-img

    Drs. Voelker and Lobosky honored with 2014 Physician Legacy Award

  • video-img

    Drs. Voelker and Lobosky honored with 2014 Physician Legacy Award

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