Lecture Series Explores a Powerful Photo-Documentary

Photographer Angelo Merendino will discuss his internationally recognized photo-documentary, “The Battle We Didn’t Choose – My Wife’s Fight with Breast Cancer,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center as part of “The Art of Healing” lecture series.

The program is free and open to the public.


Merendino and his wife Jennifer were married in 2007. Five months later, Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36. Over the next four years, she endured a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and reconstructive surgery. Jennifer died in December 2011.

Committed to showing the human face of her ordeal, Jennifer had invited her husband to photograph her throughout her treatment. His photo-documentary, “The Battle We Didn’t Choose — My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer,” has received worldwide recognition. Intimate, honest and moving, his photographs offer viewers a look inside the day-to-day life of a young couple facing breast cancer together.

For some, the photos depict loss and death. For others, including Merendino, they tell a story of life and love.

Merendino has been featured in The New York Times and USA Today along with various online news outlets. His photographs have been exhibited in New York City, Washington D.C. and Rome, Italy.

Merendino’s work is currently featured in “The Art of Healing” exhibit on display at Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center through April 19. The exhibit includes drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and written word from artists from throughout the United States and explores various ways art can be used in the healing process.

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The accompanying lecture series provides resources and social support for those affected by cancer. Special guests include artists featured in “The Art of Healing” exhibit, oncology experts, social workers, art therapists and cancer patients and their families.

Programs take place at 6 p.m. every Thursday during the exhibit at the Stifel Fine Arts Center. All programs are free and open to the public.

Other upcoming lectures include:

• Thursday, March 14: “The Face of Cancer” Photo Presentation

Fine art photographer and cancer survivor Pete Wildey presents a powerful portrait series coupled with a positive narrative that will change the way you view cancer patients.

• Thursday, March 21: Renee K. Nicholson

Creative writer Renee K. Nicholson will discuss her work with Narrative Medicine — a medical approach that utilizes patients’ individual life stories to improve treatment experiences. Nicholson will share her experience working with Wheeling native Lacie Wallace.

• Thursday, March 28: Art Therapy Panel

A panel of art therapists will discuss the healing benefits of using art to cope with illness.

• Thursday, April 4: Exploring Your Inner Landscape: Yoga & Sound Bath

Chelsey Keding and Lindsay Schooler will present a therapeutic session that combines soothing musical and energy medicine with movements and introspective visualization. All levels. All are welcome.

• Thursday, April 11: The Bodice Project Artists

Get an in-depth look at “The Bodice Project” from the artists who created this uplifting and sensitive sculptural exhibit.

For more information on “The Art of Healing” exhibit and lecture series, call 304-242-7700 or visit www.OIonline.com.