Meet the Resident Artists of 2023
Renee Sandell, PhD
Impacted by her late husband Steve’s battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 1999, Renee Sandell, PhD, and her sons participate in annual fundraising efforts for Light the Night in Washington, DC. Renee also supports the cancer communities at Sibley Memorial Hospital and Smith Center for Healing and the Arts.
Renee reports, “My artwork serves as my meditation practice as I visually investigate the ubiquitous human condition.” Her approach, called Marking & Mapping, uses a variety of expressive media such as silk painting, ink, markers, and color pencils to envision energies contained in human virtues, such as resilience, compassion, and hope. Renee’s creations, or Virtue Maps as she calls them, represent a powerful call for integrity, unity, and peace in today’s turbulent world. She invites the viewer to explore a maze-like visual journey into an imaginative landscape of positivity to discover insights for inspiration, healing, and lessons learned from cancer and other life challenges.
Melissa Lawlor is a photographer specializing in music and entertainment portraiture and nature photography. She lost her father 17 years ago, so when her mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer, it made the news that much more difficult. As an only child, Melissa became a caregiver, seeing her mother through surgery and treatment to her current cancer-free status.
Melissa’s passion for capturing emotion, energy, and the natural world through photography is a pursuit her mother wholeheartedly supports. The artist touts her mother’s friendship and support as an inspiration for her work.
To see more of Melissa's photography, visit her Instagram page @melissa_lawlor_photography.
Laura Scarpa Regnere
The art of Laura Scarpa Regnere can be described as abstract realism where she uses multiple media to provide texture, depth, and glow to her paintings. As an artist and a breast cancer survivor, she endeavors to create artwork that ignites a joyful spark in the viewer that promotes healing. Laura says that being diagnosed with breast cancer on her 35th birthday allowed her to see the grace and beauty of the world and how much she is loved. As an only child, Melissa became a caregiver, seeing her mother through surgery and treatment to her current cancer-free status. Melissa’s passion for capturing emotion, energy, and the natural world through photography is a pursuit her mother wholeheartedly supports. She credits her mother’s friendship and support as an inspiration for her work.
To see more of Laura’s art, visit her website at theartsywitch.com.
Anne Delano Weathersby
Anne discovered photography after retiring from a career in the news business. Not long into this second chapter of her life, she was diagnosed with 2 types of breast cancer. Anne says photography provides her with a way to heal, express herself, and spend time enjoying the beautiful scenery in and around the Chesapeake Bay.
To see more of Anne’s art, visit her website at playbackshots.com.
Meet the Resident Artists of 2022
Canadian artist Alexandra Gronfors is an elementary school teacher and a stage IV Hodgkin lymphoma cancer survivor. During her recent chemotherapy, she painted her way through treatment while sharing her journey and inspiring others through her art. The goal of her art is to bring joy to everyone while offering a unique perspective of the world with her use of bold, vibrant colors and high-contrast backgrounds. Each piece showcases her positive outlook on life and bright imagination. She is inspired by people, landscapes, and the natural world.
To see more of Alexandra’s art, visit her Instagram page at: www.instagram.com/art.by.alexandra_/.
Photographer Ellen Hoverkamp arranges plants and natural objects, then creates botanical and still life photographs using a flatbed scanner as a camera. She collaborated on 2 award-winning gardening books and sells her fine art prints on her website. Ellen was diagnosed with stage IV, ALK-positive, non–small-cell adenocarcinoma lung cancer in April 2019. Her motto is, “Despite all, the beauty of nature prevails.”
ALK Positive Inc. supports research to improve the life expectancy and quality of life for ALK-positive patients, like Ellen. To donate, visit ALKPositive.Kindful.com.
Genevieve de Renne
JONS Resident Artist Genevieve de Renne began studying art at age 10, continued studying fine art in college, and has remained a passionate artist throughout her life. Professionally, she became an occupational therapist and was able to combine her interest in art with health and healing.
When her husband, Dann, developed lung cancer, she used her art to create a healing environment. Sixteen years into their cancer journey, Genevieve and Dann’s home is now filled with her artwork.