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Farwell’s BIG ARTS exhibit tracks personal journey with ovarian cancer

By Staff | Mar 4, 2010

“Sunset Clouds,” by Stella Farwell.

Stella Farwell is more than just an artist. She’s an active and involved member of the community she calls home and she’s an advocate for a cause that many people, especially women, overlook until it’s too late – ovarian cancer.

On Wednesday, March 3, an exhibit featuring Farwell’s recent works opened at BIG ARTS.

Farwell is well-known for her dynamically swirling shapes, bold colors and biomorphic compositions. Her organic, contemporary forms represent a hint into the artist’s world that is bright, elegant and whimsical, juxtaposed with mediums such as hand-made paper, acrylic, metal, and stone.

Many of the pieces in Farwell’s exhibit are directly inspired by her journey battling ovarian cancer.

“The most important one is a big piece called ‘Standing Free’ – that stands for standing up to the disease. ‘Cooperation’ is a piece I made out of handmade paper that a breast cancer survivor made and gave to me,” Farwell said.

Another piece Farwell will exhibit is called “Evolving.” The bottom of the piece is tight and dark, but as it ascends, the forms become freer and lighter. “It’s sort of like the light at the end of the tunnel,” Farwell said.

An artist’s reception will be held on Saturday, March 13, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and Farwell’s exhibit will be open through Monday, March 29.

In addition to her exhibit, Farwell will be talking about the connection between some of her artwork on display and her personal journey with ovarian cancer in an Art Talk at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 18 in the Founders Gallery.

“I’m excited because that’s going to be my opportunity to speak to people I don’t already know and give some information to them,” Farwell said.

“Ovarian cancer is very hard to diagnose because the symptoms are so similar to many other things. One in 58 women will have ovarian cancer, but it’s not immediately on the medical radar screen. If a woman has some medical problems and her health care provider can’t figure out what it is in a reasonable time-frame, they need to go to an OB/GYN and make sure its not ovarian cancer. It’s better to rule it out than to not know,” Farwell said.

In addition to her Art Talk at BIG ARTS, Farwell said she would love to speak to any and all island groups or organizations to tell them more about ovarian cancer.

“I would be thrilled to talk to any group who would have me for a few minutes. It’s very important to me. I’m not the best public speaker, but I’m passionate about it. What I’m trying to do is make people aware – I’m not trying to fundraise, I’m trying to raise awareness.”

For more information about Stella Farwell’s exhibit and upcoming Art Talk, call BIG ARTS at 395-0900.

BIG ARTS is located at 900 Dunlop Road on Sanibel.