Our Story

Dr. Perkins“For many people, cancer can mean renewed life,”said Dr. Perkins,
“and we want to communicate that through art.”

Dr. Christopher Perkins’ unique “Philosophy of Wholeness” reflects an approach to the treatment of cancer you won’t find anywhere else. Out of his deep compassion for his patients and a desire for them to address their cancer holistically, he founded the Art of Life Program in 2007. In this innovative program, cancer survivors become more aware of the interconnectivity of the body, mind and soul in healing. Additionally, there is scientific evidence that art-based interventions are effective in reducing adverse physiological and psychological outcomes. In the Art of Life program, participants find a creative outlet through painting to courageously tell their story and process their cancer journey often resulting in a greater sense of hope.

The Art of Life program links groups of participants with cancer to local artists to co-create works of art for public viewing. The art represents life in the midst of the cancer journey. For the many people involved, the result is life-giving transformation.

At the first The Art of Life exhibition event—and every exhibition thereafter—there were cheers and tears, triumphs and testimonies, and of course, celebrations of love and life. Families and friends gathered to see the beautiful creativity that emerged from the self-proclaimed “not so creative.” Stories of healing and encouragement arose out of the new bonds developed among artistic teams.

Dr. Perkins described The Art of Life phenomenon as “an important step for everyone with a cancer diagnosis—to not just fight to survive, but to understand how cancer can offer each person new life in a very personal way.”

2007 – Dr. Christopher Perkins founded the Art of Life Program

2008 – The First Unveiling Event of the Art of Life Program was held at California Oncology

2012 – The first Paula Project launched for alumni of the Art of Life program

2013 – The Board of Directors was formed

2014 – The Art of Life Cancer Foundation became an independent non-profit organization and received its 501(c)3 status non-profit organization. Our Federal Tax ID is: 46-2645524

The first Unveiling Event at California State University, Fresno with nearly 1,000 people in attendance

2015 – The Art of Life Healing Garden at Woodward Park Campaign Kickoff, construction begins

The first Festival & Groundbreaking at Woodward Park, with nearly 2,000 people in attendance

2016 – Phase II of the Art of Life Healing Garden at Woodward Park

“Paint it Forward” program for cancer survivors launches year round opportunities and workshops

 

Who we serve

The program is open to ALL cancer survivors in the Central Valley (men, women, teens and children).

Why we serve

Dr. Christopher Perkins founded the Art of Life program because of his deep compassion for his patients and a desire to see them address their cancer holistically.  From the very beginning, the program remained open to all patient, regardless of their Oncologist or treatment center.

We acknowledge that there is scientific evidence that art-based interventions are effective in reducing adverse physiological and psychological outcomes. In the Art of Life Program participants find a creative outlet through painting to courageously tell their story and process their cancer journey often resulting in a greater sense of hope. “For many people, cancer can mean renewed life,” said Dr. Perkins, “and we want to communicate that through art.”

How we serve

The Art of Life Program has been around and has been positively impacting people’s lives since 2007. The Foundation currently operates four different programs: The Art of Life Program; the Paula Project, which allows past Art of Life participants to return year after year and experience the joy of healing arts; the Community Project, which involves thousands of people in the community who rally behind cancer survivors by transforming ordinary materials into extraordinary works of art as a testimony of love and support; and the most recent project, the Art of Life Healing Garden at Woodward Park, which is being developed in Fresno, California’s Woodward Park —the largest public park in the Fresno area—and will serve to bring even more people together from around the community.

Impact

Participants in The Art of Life Cancer Foundation programs:

Find a therapeutic outlet through art to tell their story and process their cancer journey resulting in a greater sense of self-confidence and courage

Become more connected to family, friends and community, and feel more supported as they deal with the challenges they face

Share experiences and stories, which inspires hope

Become more aware of the interconnectivity of their body, mind and soul and are better equipped for addressing the cancer holistically

Vision

Our vision is that everyone touched by cancer will discover the art of life through creative expression to experience healing and hope.