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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Offering an escape from reality, Creative for Health will be hosting a series of art workshops for those affected by cancer.

Dylan Klempner, an artist in residence at UF Health Shands, won a grant from the Livestrong Foundation that allowed him to start the program.

Creative for Health is focused on trying to get the community, including UF students, involved, said Klempner.

“Our goal is to create a community of people with art — it can be patients, survivor, nurses, family,” he said.

The workshops began in September and will go through Oct. 31. They are Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Criser Cancer Resource Center.

Tiffany Paul, a 19-year-old UF physics freshman, attended a workshop and made origami cranes.

“From engineers to premed students to staff to involved family members, the people in our group found an uncommon tie in these cranes,” she said.

Elif Akcali, a UF engineering professor and artist, hosted a workshop focusing on collages.

“Collaging was very accessible to me. It didn’t need to have a point. I would know what it meant to me,” Akcali said.

The goals of the workshops are to offer support and connection to others who are going through similar issues dealing with cancer.

“I didn’t see anyone checking his or her email or text messages or no one wanted to go to the bathroom. They almost get sucked into that reality for a while,” Akcali said.

Some of the projects in the past include origami, printmaking, storytelling and mask making.

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“We don’t have control about what will happen in the future with cancer but we do have control about how much paints goes on a canvas, what origami you will make,” Klempner said.

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