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Voices Art Gallery: Current Show

Picasso inspired portrait of Janet with son Davis
Picasso-inspired "Mommy and Davis"

Pastel Impressions
Oil pastels by Janet Blackwell

On display: November, 2016 through January, 2017

self portrait
Janet Blackwell: "Self Portrait"

About Janet Blackwell

Art is an expression of the artists’ soul. When sharing art, the artist bears their soul to the viewer. It is a form of communication, soul to soul.

Being a breast cancer survivor of 14 years, this representation of art is a way of giving back to the University of Michigan Cancer Center for saving my life. After teaching for thirty years as a Teacher Consultant working with students with autism, the time came when I could pursue a lifelong passion to create art. A year and a half ago this journey began resulting in over eighty pieces of art.

Influenced by Picasso and Van Gogh, I found that creating interpretations of their art was a rewarding practice on the path to creating my own style. Van Gogh spent the first years of his work copying from the greats of his day, so I followed in his footsteps. Oil pastels were a medium I randomly chose and fell in love with. My love for color is seen throughout my art.

Blending colors and pressing the color to the paper with my fingers with deep pressure gives the pastel a look of acrylic paint. The color is vibrant and creates affects that were neither intended nor expected. Painting with my fingers gives a personal connection to the piece of art uninterrupted by a paint brush.

Creating interpretations of people and events in my life is my primary passion. It is like creating a visual diary of my life.

The art presented here represents the beginning of my effort to move people and to share my journey with you.


The Voices Art Gallery is located on level B1 of the Cancer Center Building.
Driving Directions  |   Floor Maps

The Voices Art Gallery is offered by the Cancer Center Art Therapy Program and is made possible by gifts to the Helen and Sonya Fund and the Cancer Center Art Therapy Program. Program supplies are generously supported by the Robert by the Robert Bruce Dunlap Memorial Fund.

Learn more about how you can make a gift to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.