April 14, 2024
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Self-Healing Award Winning Art at Teaneck General Store

Teaneck—“If you’re an artist you just cre­ate and you cannot im­agine a time when you don’t create,” says art­ist and physician Arie­la Noy. After discovering she had BRCA1, a ge­netic mutation indicating a high risk for breast and ovarian cancer, Noy, an oncologist herself, underwent radical preventative treatment, in­cluding two surgeries. She painted about this difficult and dramatic twist of reality—a doctor becoming patient— and she writes and lec­tures about that difficult experience.

Inspired to express the surreal medical challenge she endured, Noy wrote a book that remains unpublished and painted a composite of images entitled “BRCA Fear 2005,” winning her “best in show” at the annual Medical Com­plex Art Show. “I was shocked they accepted it into the competition and even more surprised to win such an award,” said Noy. She has been a part of every show since entering the first com­petition 17 years ago, winning honorable men­tion and first runner up several times.

The Medical Complex Art Show displays the works of faculty, staff, and students of the Weill Cornell Medical College, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Hospi­tal for Special Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Ket­tering Cancer Center, and Rockefeller Univer­sity, with a virtual component including work from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and WCMC alumni.

The winning piece, “BRCA Fear 2005,” is an explicit visual narrative depicting the complex­ity of a BRCA diagnosis and was entered into the Lilly Oncology On Canvas competition and made into a fine art reproduction, or giclée by Noy specifically for this competition. This gi­clée was so well received it toured 22 countries. Winning artwork will be exhibited at various locations nationwide, such as cancer centers, hospitals, and patient advocacy group events. Lilly Oncology and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), or other nonprofit cancer-related advocacy groups or charitable organizations, use award-winning work from these competitions to further their ongoing educational and fundraising efforts.

Potential subjects are everywhere. “I walk around with my iPhone and take pictures of people. It’s their expressions that get me, I don’t have to necessarily know who they are at all,” said Noy. Painting since her parents gave her a “paint by numbers” set, she took her first class at Fairlawn Arts Center at age 7. There she met and studied with Jean Silver through high school.

Noy didn’t study art or paint one stroke during her initial years at Princeton, where she attended undergrad school. Junior year she enrolled in an art class and the passion rekin­dled. The challenges and restrictions of the coursework enhanced her talent exposing her at a level she never knew existed. “By the time I got to medical school I was on my way, with my first commissioned piece,” recalls Noy.

“Thistles at the Cloisters,” another award-winning canvas, hung for a year on a wall at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and was recently re­turned to Noy. Now they are requesting it back to be part of Sloan-Kettering’s permanent col­lection.

Noy’s creativity is not exclusive to paint­ing and photography. She is an accomplished vocalist, a member of Florilegium, a 30-voice chamber choir comprising highly trained avo­cational and professional musicians dedicated to the highest level of performance. The choir’s repertoire covers all eras of Western music, from pre-Renaissance to the newly commis­sioned, sung in original languages and availa­ble on Amazon.

Noy’s collection will be on display at Te­aneck General Store through August 15. Com­mission work and select pieces are also availa­ble for sale.

TGS, a Wi-Fi café, retail toy and unique af­fordable gift shop, features live events, perfor­mances, art exhibits, workshops, and lectures. For more info: TeaneckGeneralStore.com; www.florilegiumchamberchoir.org

By Elyse Hansford

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