Love, Twelve…Art, Community, Survival, and Pride

The Love, Twelve Pin-Up calendar project, featuring young adult women surviving cancer, will partner with the Mt. Airy Art Garage to feature four local Philadelphia breast cancer survivors  for their 2014 pin-up calendar.

Photo Tracy Birdsell

Photo Tracy Birdsell

When you least expect it here at MAAG, another door opens… We are honored to share our space with artists and women in both the  local and national cancer communities.  Love Twelve is doing their local photo shoot and setting up house here at MAAG July 8-12.

Love Twelve is an on-going volunteer initiative using the photographic arts to raise confidence and provide more age-appropriate resources for young adult cancer survivors.  Love Twelve is about the healing power of art, knowledge, friendship, community, self esteem, and positivity.

So when Los Angeles-based photographer Tracy Birdsell reached out to Linda Slodki about her mission to inspire women to live without fear and live a fully expressed life after cancer, through art and community, this partnership made absolute sense to them both.  Birdsell said, “I do this by photographing women who are surviving cancer in vintage-inspired pin-up and produce an annual calendar. I’m a survivor myself and I believe that cancer can’t take away our value, our femininity, or our power as women.”

Linda saw this as a perfect partnership. “MAAG is a resource center of creativity for artists, art lovers, and all those who seek to bring an eco-friendly and artistic sensibility to their lives. At the foundation of all we do, is community. Art and community. Offering our space to make this photo project a reality in Philadelphia just makes sense.”

Inspired by her personal brush with breast cancer when she was 29, Tracy Birdsell underwent lumpectomy surgery on her left breast for a tumor. Birdsell decided to put her talents as a photographer to use after experiencing first hand the limited resources available specifically to cancer survivors her age. “I felt really alone. You’re not a child and you’re not an adult who has already had a career and a family. It surprises people who see so much media attention given to cancer when you explain how your unique needs are not represented in that,” said Birdsell.  “I wanted to create something that was beautiful, reminded me that I was still strong and sexy, and that I wasn’t alone. A calendar is a perfect metaphor for this. It’s all about each day, each week, each month – fill the squares in with the events of your life and go live!”

Birdsell is also creating the Love Twelve Internet site as a compliment to the calendar to serve as a unique resource for those afflicted by all types of cancer: patient and loved ones alike. “Most support groups rightfully focus on the internal wellness of the patient, but cancer also has many negative fallout effects on a woman’s body,” said Birdsell.  “I know from personal experience that it’s hard to feel healthy and confident when you don’t feel that your appearance follows suit. We’re building the Love, Twelve calendar and website to provide a much needed boost to how young adult women feel about themselves on both the outside and the inside.”

 – MORE –

Each of the models featured in the calendar are posing in a way that represents some aspect of their life. Whether imagining how they are going to reinvent themselves in their “new normal” after cancer, or how they are going to pursue a long-held dream, all scenarios reflect something they feel is empowering, inspiring and life-affirming on a personal level. This year’s theme is film noir, a genre that embraces the darkness and shadows in life instead of running from it. Photographer Tracy Birdsell is excited to add the signature humor, fun and sexiness that is at the heart of Love, Twelve to this theme and show how “courage is the new black.”

For more information visit www.lovetwelve.com

 

 

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