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Cancer survivors among those showing work at Art in the Square

POSTED: September 15, 2012 11:07 p.m.

Downtown Gainesville was filled with visitors taking in the sights of fine art and live entertainment at the Art in the Square Festival on Saturday.

This year marked the 9th anniversary since the festival’s beginnings. Artists from across the Southeast made their way to the square with a plethora of varying art forms to display, including oil paintings, photography, water colors, pottery, hand-designed beaded jewelry and glass mosaics, among other mediums.

The event continues from 11 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

One such vendor was Sue Sigmon-Nosach of 2 Broken Broads. She and her friend and business partner, Debbie Torbett, are ovarian cancer survivors and creators of what they deem “green art.”

No strangers to Art in the Square, this was their third time participating.

Their method of taking shattered pieces of glass and windows found in landfills to create colorful mosaics is the women’s way of proving that “broken is beautiful.”

Undoubtedly, one of the primary motivators behind their art is to raise awareness of ovarian cancer after personally having undergone a diagnosis.

“We have both recreated our lives in a positive way that we never could have imagined. It’s been a lot of hard work, but the rewards of meeting other survivors and caregivers, telling our story, raising awareness and facing our fears about this disease are immeasurable,” said Sigmon-Nosach of the way her art and survivorship coincide.

A teal ribbon, the color for ovarian cancer awareness, is put into each of the 2 Broken Broads mosaics to let others know it’s an authentic piece.

Young artists were also given the chance to put art and craft pieces on display at the Youth Artist Market. For the inspired, Brenau University Galleries gave children an opportunity to make their own art and craft creations at its booth.

Georgia Doyle, a Hall County resident and art enthusiast, said the Art in the Square Festival is a tradition for her and her knitting club.

“We’re just a group of ladies that love to knit and love art; we really love crafty-type things, and this is so up our alley,” Doyle said of the displays.

After finding out about the event four years ago, she has been walking the square during festival season ever since.

“I think this is a really, really great thing for the city of Gainesville. It’s one of those things that gives the whole area this local, community, kind of flavorful feel. There’s really something that makes you feel good about going around and looking at so many beautiful things like what’s here,” she said.

Along with so many art displays, other festivities included sidewalk chalk artists, raku pottery firings, belly dancing and music from the center of the square and the John Jarrard concert stage.


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