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Faces of DePauw

Art of Prof. Cynthia O'Dell On Display at Iowa Wesleyan College

Art of Prof. Cynthia O'Dell On Display at Iowa Wesleyan College

November 16, 2004

November 16, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - "'Common Threads' -- an exhibit by Cynthia O'Dell, an associate professor of art at DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, is on display in the P.E.O. Art Gallery at Iowa Wesleyan College," notes the Hawk Eye of Burlington, Iowa. The newspaper adds, "'Common Threads' deals with the personal side of breast cancer through quilts that tell individual stories of women battling the disease. The exhibit concludes Friday. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday."

Access the item at the newspaper's Web site by clicking here.

The professor's site can be found here.

In 1996, Professor O'Dell began documenting the lives of women from Colorado who were living with cancer. Two years of interviewing and photographing the women evolved into "common threads," a series of photographic quilts (one can be seen at right). "In the family, the quilt has been an object of nostalgia and comfort," a synoposis of the exhibition states. "It was a way for the women in the family to make their own mark when it was not always appropriate for a woman to be heard. It is an object with which Cynthia's mother told her stories and defined her family history. The quilt can also be understood as an object of comfort, but by placing such an uncomfortable subject on this 'soft' surface suggests the difficulties of dealing with a disease such as breast cancer."

(top photo of Professor O'Dell from a DePauw magazine cover photo by Marilyn E. Culler)