- Associated Press - Sunday, October 11, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - An art workshop offered every month in downtown Bismarck is helping local cancer patients, survivors and their family members.

The Healing through Art program is the product of a partnership between the Art Gallerie on Main and the Bismarck Cancer Center. The workshop allows participants to try numerous art forms, including painting, metal embossing, weaving and scratch art, the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1jehMhl ) reported.

Art Gallerie on Main owner Lydia Richez-Bowman said the class was a long-time dream of hers because she knows how big of a release art can be to a cancer patient after battling the disease herself.

“Their art expresses a part of them,” Richez-Bowman said. “You can see there’s therapy involved.”

Many participants believe the class helps them relax and stop stressing about the cancer afflicting them or their loved ones.

Paulette Neff and Audrey Reile, sisters whose family has a history of cancer, started coming to the workshop together. Both women said they share a love for art and enjoy the company of other participants in the class.

“I think it’s great for us - the camaraderie, the support - it’s therapeutic,” Neff said as she and her sister painted wine glasses.

Robinson resident Robyn Rembleski has cancer that’s currently in remission. She drives to Bismarck every month for the class, which she describes as “great” and something she looks forward to doing.

“It’s something to get our heads out of the every day,” said Carol Guler, who finished her cancer treatments and joined the class with a friend as the two of them battled the disease together.

The participants are taking part in the Healing through Art Exhibit as part of downtown Bismarck’s “Paint the Town Pink” cancer awareness event.

Many of their artworks will be up for sale at $40 apiece, with profits benefiting the Bismarck Cancer Center. Several professional artists also have donated their work.

“I’m hoping this is the beginning of something really nice every year,” Richez-Bowman said.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com


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