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Community Artwork

A diverse community gives rise to a diverse and very unique art gallery. The members of FORCE have a long tradition of artwork expressing the spectrum of our shared experiences.

If you'd like to see your art featured in this gallery, please send a mail to Barbara Pfeiffer.


Chalk mural created for National HBOC Week.

Chalk mural created for National HBOC Week.

By Jennifer Edwards.
Read more about this powerful project at

Postcard for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Transform the scar on a woman's chest into a jewel.

Postcard for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Transform the scar on a woman's chest into a jewel.

Dr. Dorit Amikam
Molecular Oncologist
Artist Gallery


Paintings & Drawings

(click on an image to see a larger version)

Hope Chests

Phoenix Outreach Hope Chest Art Exhibit

The Phoenix Outreach Hope Chest Exhibit displayed bust sculptures made by Rachel Householder and hand painted by local artists.

(Click the Hope Chest to play the slide show.)

Flaming red hair, innocence and beauty reigning the desert

Flaming red hair, innocence and beauty reigning the desert

Dr. Dorit Amikam
Molecular Oncologist
Artist Gallery

  Breast Mosaic by LoLo

Breast Mosaic


Once I truly believed cancer was reality instead of a nightmare... this piece just flowed right out of me.

How Far Will you go to Survive?

How Far Will You Go to Survive?

Acylic on canvas. Jennifer Gooch. Part of The Art Center Project.


  Brave Girl

Brave Girl

Mixed media. J.C. Spock.

Order items featuring Brave Girl through our partner shop.



Mixed media, J.C. Spock


  Breaking Tradition

Breaking Tradition

Acrylic on canvas, Kelly Phelan Barnhat.



Mixed media. Rachel Householder.

  At a Gala Night with Her Lovely Scar

At a Gala Night with Her Lovely Scar

Dr. Dorit Amikam
Molecular Oncologist
Artist Gallery


Body by Rebecca

Body by Rebecca

Body art post mastectomy, a celebration by member Rebecca with art by Bethany

  BRCA Girl


Line drawing. Lauren Cahn Schoenfeld

Courage Runs in Our Family

Courage Runs In Our Family

Watercolor. Jan Spangler

  Their Proud, Pinked-Jeweled, Breasts

Their Proud, Pinked-Jeweled, Breasts

Dr. Dorit Amikam
Molecular Oncologist
Artist Gallery

Poetry & Prose

(click on the image to see a larger version)


The BRCA Gene by Eva Moon

The BRCA Gene, a parody by Eva Moon

YouTube video


A poem: Wishes


By Virtuous

  A poem: Thankful for My Genes

Thankful for My Genes - A Thanksgiving Poem

By Beth Cohen

A poem: When My Mother Visits

When My Mother Visits

By Heather Fineman


  A Poem: Beads


by Deborah Pomeranz

A poem: Beyond Survival

Beyond Survival

By Sue Friedman

  A poem: Ode to My Breasts

Ode to My Breasts

By Amy A. Hefner

A poem: How, a poem about surviving


By Martha Haley

  A Poem: Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch

By Sue Friedman

  • The Hope Chest Art Exhibit
  • Carrie Katai with artist Gene-Sander
    Carrie Katai with the Artist Gene Sander.
  • Carrie Katai Front-View
    “I used the cast texture as my starting point. I considered the overall surface quality and created a painterly drawing emphasizing the bust’s sculptural elegance. I included black outlines, dashes of color and hence the heart inside to acknowledge the human side of this project.”
  • Carrie Katai Hope Chest Interior View
    • Age 23 discovered BRCA1 gene mutation
    • Never had breast cancer
    • Had Prophylactic Mastectomy with reconstruction
    • My mom had breast cancer three times and ovarian cancer.

    "My mom will always be my hero. She went through so much, yet never let it stop her zest for life. Thinking of her gives me strength. Knowledge is power and I am grateful to have this information and the choice to be proactive. I am stronger than I give myself credit for. "
  • Kiersten Kern's Hope Chest Front View
    “It was important to me that the torso of Kiersten Kern be surrounded with lightness, purity and softness. I crocheted the piece with a yarn that I felt would best reflect these ideas. The pieces of yarn flowing off of the torso are metaphorical for the many ways each of our lives spread out to touch and influence each other.”
  • Kiersten Kern with her Hope Chest
    • Age 37 when diagnosed positive for BRCA1
    • Had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma at age 37
    • Lumpectomy, Bi-lateral mastectomy with expanders placed, hysterectomy and implant exchange
    • None of my relatives had breast or ovarian cancer, to my knowledge
    • My mother is BRCA 1- she found out after my diagnosis.

    "I will live my life with no regrets. I will look forward to the future, and not dwell on the past. Finding out about the gene after the cancer diagnosis allowed me to have a reason for the cancer. I no longer had to wonder if I caused it. Knowing my gene status gave me some control over my situation. I made the decision to remove my breasts, my ovaries and my uterus to decrease the likelihood of getting cancer again. After going through breast cancer, chemo, and multiple surgeries, I learned not to sweat the small stuff and that whatever I was going through, there was someone who was unfortunately worse. Without my family, I never could have kept a positive attitude. You really learn who loves you and who your friends are.”
  • Lisa Edwards with Artist Lisa Marie Sipe
    “Cancer has the power to invade, hide and destroy. I used images of green aeoniums and their rosettes of foliage with complementary purple cellular images of BRCA cancer cells on the back to express the importance of awareness. What can appear to be beautifully growing and normal on the outside isn’t always what is happening on the inside.”

    Purchased by Dr. Linda Benadaret, Phoenix, AZ. Thank you to Dr. Benadaret for her support. If you would like to purchase a Hope Chest, please email info@facingourrisk.org.
  • Lisa and Megan Edward's Hope Chests
    Lisa Edwards
    • Age 29 discovered BRCA2 gene mutation
    • Never had breast cancer
    • Maternal grandmother, two aunts and mother had breast cancer
    • Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy and Oopherectomy

    “I am strong! I learned that I am a lot braver than I thought and that I was willing to do whatever it took to ensure a better life for myself and my daughters! I am proud of my ability to face the obstacles and come out better than I was. I am a phoenix!”

    Megan Edwards
    • Not yet tested for a gene mutation
    • Maternal great-grandmother, two great aunts and my grandmother had breast cancer
    • My mother has a BRCA2 mutation

    “I think Mommy’s surgeries was a good idea to not get cancer.”

    Purchased by Dr. Linda Benadaret, Phoenix, AZ. Thank you to Dr. Benadaret for her support. If you would like to purchase a Hope Chest, please email info@facingourrisk.org.
  • Rachel and Kira Householder and their Hope Chests
    Rachel Householder
    • Age 29 discovered BRCA1 gene mutation
    • Never had breast cancer
    • Had prophylactic mastectomy with GAP FLAP reconstruction
    • My mom, two aunts and two sisters have all had breast cancer.

    “I am lucky to have been given a crystal ball; that gift of knowing at an early age. I am no longer a time bomb waiting to go off... I will be around for my future and my family. My scars have faded but the pain of losing my sister does not. I know for sure that all of the discomfort I have experienced is a tiny price to pay to ensure that my future is healthy.”

    Kira Householder
    • I don’t know if I have a gene mutation
    • My grandmother, Bebe, has had breast cancer three times, my aunt had it and my other aunt died of breast cancer when I was 3.

    “I am independent. I know I am definitely at risk. I love my mom because she is brave and if anything ever happens I’ll still have her. Because we have breast cancer in my family, that puts me at higher risk but I will know how to handle it. I have my family to support me.”
  • Rachel and Kira Householder's Hope Chests Front View 2
    “My torso next to my daughter’s emphasizes her delicate youth and hopeful future. I looked at myself from the outside to notice the asymmetry of my reconstructed breasts. The mighty tree trunk is symbolic of my strength and stability as a protective mother. My long branches reach out and support my daughter’s small limbs. The Sweetgum tree fruit falls from the branches and are reminiscent of those that littered my front yard in my east coast childhood. These spiky fruit are beautifully complex. They look prickly and foreboding but pass on important genetic material to grow a new life.”
  • Rosalie Kern and her Hope Chest
    Rosalie with her Hope Chest
  • Rosalie Kern's Hope Chest Front View
    “I Love Rosalie Kern”
    “I began on the inside, because the inside is what really matters. As I talked and painted, I started to feel that I knew Rosalie, and after a while I began to love her. The more I painted, the stronger my feelings grew, the stronger I felt the connection between what I was painting and my own self, my own mother, my love, my family, my experience of life and death.”
  • Rosalie Kern's Hope Chest, Interior View
    Age 57 when diagnosed positive for BRCA1
    • Never had breast cancer.
    • My daughter, Kiersten has breast cancer.
    • After research, we found out that my Grandmother and her 5 sisters in Italy had breast cancer.

    “I never thought my daughter would be the one with Cancer. Knowing about this gene has made me realize how precious knowledge is and by using this knowledge, we can empower the choices we make in our life. How we must strive daily to take care of ourselves and never take our loved ones for granted because you never know what lies in your future.
  • Sandra Neville's Hope Chest
    “I respect the person who belongs to this bust. I want to honor that woman who was brave enough to have it made from her body. The fragility and delicate quality of this bust was retained by keeping the front unpainted. I didn’t want the color, character, sensual feel of the plaster to disappear. I used gold leaf because it’s very precious and gold is considered to have significant worth. Gilding the inside made sense because it is who we are inside that is where our real worth is. The eye-catching sparkles on the outside make the outside attractive.”
  • Sandra Neville's Hope Chest, Interior View
    • Age 40 when discovered BRCA1 mutation
    • I never had cancer and had a prophylactic mastectomy
    • My oldest sister had breast cancer, then my other sister and then my niece was diagnosed. Several aunts were also diagnosed with breast cancer.

    “I am a strong person. I decided to go through the preventative surgery for my family and myself. I made the decision because I have two daughters. My hope is to help them in making the best decisions for themselves if they ever have to go through the same thing my sisters, niece and I did.”
  • Tania Katan's Hope Chest
    Tania Katan
    • Age 31 when diagnosed positive for BRCA1
    • Had breast cancer twice at ages 21 and 31
    • Had a double mastectomy and an oophorectomy
    • My aunt also had breast or ovarian cancer
    • My sister has the same genetic mutation

    “There are things that I know for sure, and one of them is…dogs, no matter how cute they are, can attack. How has my life changed from the experience of having the gene? Buy the book…”

    Kate Timmerman
    “Having read Tania’s book, ‘My One Night Stand with Cancer’ and attending her performances, I was honored to adorn the cast of her torso. I adapted a blue Delft pottery pattern because it evoked a feeling of strong energy. The irregular and hand-painted quality of the pattern on the ceramic piece I used for inspiration, reminded me of the unique experience each breast cancer survivor claims. Near the end of the process, the painted piece began to resemble a shield. I realized the strong feminine energy of the pattern when enlarged did resemble a shield for a warrior.”
  • Ann's Hope Chest
    “I had a reverence for the form of this person I had never met. It already contained the idea, along with the intimacy, from the act of casting. I left the bust in a very raw state because I wanted the connection to the subject to remain as direct as possible. I often portray animals in my work so I researched historic and folkloric associations for different animals. I selected a cat and a toad for the positive associations they portray.”
  • Ann's Hope Chest
    • Age 29 when discovered BRCA2 gene mutation
    • Never had cancer. No surgeries so far.
    • My mother has had breast cancer, two of my aunts
    had breast and ovarian cancer.

    “I have learned that knowledge can bring fear, but ultimately it can bring empowerment. Because of my mother's experiences, I always feared that cancer might strike me someday. Getting tested for the mutation confirmed my fears about my high chances of getting cancer. It has also given me the knowledge that I need to take action to protect myself. I am now in touch with a huge amount of resources and support from people that understand exactly what I'm going through.”
  • Monique Sisneros' Hope Chest
    “This cast held much physical presence and consequently I wondered about her, as I painted. What I would do if I were in her body? Empathy is one of those things that you really only imagine. I felt sadness but also courage. Technology can provide us with all sorts of information, but it doesn’t make anything easier. Do I want to know? Do you want to know? Did she? Think about it… Feel it…. It’s important. In the end, I was left with this transformed object; the painted body cast. I was left with emotions and thoughts. I was also left with more awareness. I hope as a viewer you are too.”
  • Monique Sisneros' Hope Chest
    • Age 27 discovered BRCA1 gene mutation
    • Age 27 had triple negative carcinoma
    • Had a double mastectomy with DIEP flap and hysterectomy
    • My mom and her sister had cancer

    “Life is a gift and should not be taken for granted. Working through emotions is tough but manageable. My life is different than before cancer but I’m here and alive and grateful every day that I have with my family.”
  • Jennifer Johnson's Hope Chest
    The Ties That Bind
    “Upon seeing Jennifer’s cast bust, my first thought was a corset with its feminine shape echoing the human presence…a thing of beauty. I felt a strong responsibility to retain the shape of her body paying special attention to keep her bellybutton as a unifying feature tying us to our past. The Ties That Bind refers to our connection to our heritage, our families and our DNA. As with a corset or an umbilical cord these ties can provide entrapment, constriction or support, nourishment and comfort. Most likely it is all of these.”
  • Jennifer Johnson's Hope Chest
    • Age 32 discovered my BRCA2 mutation
    • Age 32 had Breast Cancer in 2008, 2010 & now 2011
    • Had a bilateral mastectomy & ovaries & fallopian tubes removed
    • My Mom had breast cancer

    “There are things I know for sure, and one of them is having cancer is a blessing in disguise. It made me change my life and realize that I needed to treat my body as the temple that God intended. It has also given me the opportunity to take my experiences and knowledge to help others. I tell my story to everyone I meet.”

Phoenix Outreach celebrates National HBOC Week with The Hope Chest Art Exhibit

In celebration of HBOC Week, Hope Chest, a collaborative traveling sculpture exhibit about hope and the stories of genetic cancers opened the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center with a special reception.

The Hope Chest exhibit displayed bust sculptures made by Rachel Householder and hand painted by local artists. Each bust shares the model’s story and is evidence that even with a cancer or previvor diagnosis, there is still a feeling of beauty, both inside and out.

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