"Pluck," a multimedia piece by Pamela Crouch, is among the artwork by cancer survivors featured in UnityPoint Health-Trinity's new cancer care center.


Ask Pamela Crouch where the newest art in the Quad-Cities is being displayed and she'll respond, "right next to the blood pressure cuffs."

Crouch is co-founder of Living Proof, which encourages art as therapy and self-expression for cancer survivors. The group's latest accomplishment is providing the artwork for the new UnityPoint Health-Trinity Cancer Care Center in Moline.

"Exam rooms and reception areas and radiation areas are all being treated like galleries," said the Moline woman, herself a breast cancer survivor and photographer.

Debuting with a reception Tuesday, the walls of the center will show the works of six local and area cancer survivors, rotating pieces on a three-month basis.

Accompanying each piece will be a display card telling the story of the survivor/artist.

"Patients who are going through a stressful time can look up and see art from someone who's been there, done that," Crouch said.

Besides the individual artists, collaborative artwork by three different groups of survivors will also be presented, as well as pieces of a quilt made by area African-American breast cancer survivors. There is also a piece that's a result of Living Proof's Full Circle Project, where hospital items and patient mementos were made into pulp and then paper, and then decorated by survivors.

Crouch co-founded the group with Mary Ellen Cunningham, a Rock Island native now living in Clarenden Hills, Calif.

Living Proof presented its third annual art show, for survivors within a 150-mile radius of the Quad-Cities, this summer in Peoria. Next year's exhibit will return to the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Crouch said, with plans for the 2017 display in Chicago.

The Trinity display includes "Pluck," a mixed-media piece from Crouch that began as a photograph she took in Des Moines of a feather floating on the water that represented resiliency.

Crouch said studies have proven how beneficial both creating and enjoying art are for cancer patients and survivors.

"We want to be another tool in the toolbox for cancer survivors," she said.