Healing comes in many forms, and Jane Zamost taught me that art is most definitely one of them. My phone call with Jane was an enjoyable one, filled with laughter, life reflection, and most importantly, why she loves art, why she considers herself a healing artist and how it all ties into Susan G. Komen Central and South Jersey.
Jane resides in Pennington, New Jersey and lives a dual life. When she isn’t in her studio, she spends her time at the Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell, New Jersey as a healing artist. Her work as a healing artist has been especially inspiring, for it has shown her the healing impact of artistic expression.
Jane describes, “There was a man who looked so broken when I came in, and I never thought he would be able to pick up a paintbrush when I met him. Yet, I just asked if he wanted to do some art, and I saw an instant change. He sat up straighter, he was excited, and as he painted, there was a giant smile on his face. Gone was the broken man I met earlier. It was very telling of how much of an impact art can make, even on the most scarred souls.”
Jane is part of the Healing Hands Mobile Art Program, where herself and other volunteers visit patients of all ages and ailments in order to give them creative opportunities for comfort, self-expression and healing. They have witnessed so much joy. Children who are non-responsive have used art as an outlet. Older patients respond with laughter and disbelief, but it doesn’t take them long to be roped in.
“The impact that art makes is honestly undeniable,” said Jane. “I have seen so many people grow. I love what I do because there is nothing more rewarding than letting someone feel as if they have a voice through art.”
Jane is also featured in a healing arts show at the hospital that they hope to bring out nationally.
The show, “Healing Art Stories” took place from July 11, 2017-October 16 2017, and featured 10 artists, Jane included. The show shed light on the art and healing narratives of these spectacular artists. In addition to this art being on display, you could also buy the art if you felt as if you connected to it. All of the art was on sale, and a portion of the proceeds are donated by the artists to Capital Health in order to help further develop art integration into the medical center and the furtherment of the art programs within the hospital.
“It’s been a lot of fun, and I hope to see it travel,” Jane said. “We are working on that right now. It has been amazing to see the impact.”
Jane is connected to the mission of Susan G. Komen because of her husband. Her husband’s first wife passed away from breast cancer; it has always been something personal for them. Jane is assisting with one of our newest projects at Race For The Cure, the Art Expression Tent, where participants can take part in a moving art project involving a “wish tree” and a banner where people can write in their wishes for a world without breast cancer.
“Hope is something very central for me,” Jane said.
“My tagline on every social media page I have is ‘Where Art Soothes, Hope Rises.’ That stems from a two-year period where my family had four people pass away from cancer. These adults were relatively young, people who shouldn’t have passed. It inspired a painting series I started called ‘Hope Rises’, that emerged from the conversations I had with my loved ones as they were going through treatment. My desire, through ‘Hope Rises’ was to inspire a movement of positivity, and of course, hope. It is in the hospital, so no one undergoing treatment has to look at an empty wall.”
Part of Susan G. Komen’s mission is to empower women dealing with breast cancer. Jane does more than just that — she empowers people suffering from all scopes of illness with her healing art initiative. Jane, with her heart and her story, truly has shown that “hope rises” above it all.
Click here to learn more about Jane and her mission to heal, empower and inspire hope, and stop by the Art Expression Tent at Race for the Cure on Sunday, November 5!
Olivia Bonevento is a featured guest blogger for Komen CSNJ. She lives at the Jersey Shore and is currently a student at a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. Read more about Olivia on her personal blog — oliviabonevento.wordpress.com.