Works of art. They hold a special meaning to the artists who create them at the Bennet Cancer Center.
"It gives them an identity at the hospital that's not 'cancer patient,'" said Karen Wakely, who is the art therapist and art coordinator at Stamford Hospital's Bennet Cancer Center.
Art therapist Karen Wakely has been running the art therapy program at Stamford Hospital for over a decade.
"I love the patients," said Wakely. "I don't really call them patients, I call them my artists."
Wakely says painting, craft, jewelry making and other classes are offered to patients and their family members at no cost.
Rica Mendes was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. Mendes was a painter in high school. Undergoing a double mastectomy and treatment, painting at the hospital brought comfort.
"It's kind of a nice way to express your thoughts when there are no words for them," said Rica Mendes, an artist and breast cancer survivor.
The art classes also lead to long lasting friendships.
"They make connections with other people going through the same thing. We have people with similar diagnoses that check in on each other all the time," said Wakely.
The hospital hosted an art show Thursday, displaying over two dozen works of art. For more information on upcoming classes, see below:
Art and Imagery, Thursdays through February 6
1:30-3:30 p.m. BCC art room
Stress Management for a Healthier You, Thursday February 13
10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. BCC Atrium
Music and Meditation, Thursday Feb. 6
12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. BCC Atrium