Watch Channel 19 Interview Here:*photographs at the beginning of this video are unrelated to The SCAR Project
The Story Behind the SCARThe SCAR Project is an international, Pulitzer nominated exhibit of a series of portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. The SCAR Project girls range from age 17 to 35 (an often over looked group of young woman with breast cancer). Local breast cancer survivor Vanessa Tiemeier and her hutband Billy took a Greyhound bus from Cincinnati to New York City to be photographed. [caption id="attachment_928" align="aligncenter" width="459" caption="Vanessa and Billy Tiemeier in NYC during the opening "][/caption] At the New York City exhibition premiere, Vanessa met breast cancer survivor Joules Evans who, in the letter below, describes their—what seemed destined to be— introduction: “I met Vanessa at the International Premiere of The SCAR Project in New York City last October. She was standing by her portrait, talking about her experience when I hear her say she was from Cincinnati. I wasn’t expecting to meet another Cincinnati survivor anymore than I was expecting to be so moved by the exhibit. I was already pretty breast cancer aware. My chemo sister, Shelly, told me about The SCAR Project over chemo one day. She had actually contacted David Jay and asked to have her portrait taken, but we are too old. Not like we sag or anything ;) But anyway, honestly I went for the road trip with her since we’d only spent time in the chemo lounge. But seeing these brave and beautiful YOUNG women, like Vanessa, standing beside their portraits baring scars like mine caught me off guard. Something about the way they looked back at me from their portraits. This is what surviving breast cancer looks like. This is what is underneath the pink ribbons. It’s hard to look at, but this is what breast cancer does to a woman. It is important that the pictures be seen because there is still feminine beauty and grace after breast cancer. This is why I think it’s an important exhibit and moment for our city.” -Joules Evans These amazing women—inspired and motivated—knew they needed to get this influential exhibit to their hometown. After receiving a whole-hearted ‘yes’ from the artist to bringing his exhibit to Cincinnati, they began spreading the word and developed The SCAR Project Committee to organize and market the event. [caption id="attachment_924" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The SCAR Project Committee: Joules Evans (committee head), Me, Vanessa Tiemeier (subject/model), David Jay (photographer), Pam Irvin, Shelly Emrick (not shown)"][/caption]
The Man Behind the Lens
“The SCAR Project is not ‘idealized.’ There is something painfully beautiful in humanity. A beauty that transcends glossy, mass-produced images.”
Fashion photographer, David Jay, began The SCAR Project after a young and close friend of his was diagnosed with breast cancer. The SCAR Project campaign is mainly to raise awareness about the nearly 10,000 women under the age of 40 who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone. Although the campaign’s main mission is awareness, it is also about “hope, reflection, and healing” for young women affected by this disease.
“For these young women, having their portrait taken seems to represent their personal victory over this terrifying disease. It helps them reclaim their femininity, their sexuality, identity and power after having been robbed of such an important part of it. Through these simple pictures, they seem to gain some acceptance of what has happened to them and the strength to move forward with pride.”
Next week’s blog, “A Different Kind of Beauty: Part II” will dive into the stories of these young women from Cincinnati who survived breast cancer and who bared it all for The SCAR Project.
Interested in Volunteering to help with The SCAR Project: Cincinnati Premiere? Please Click HERE to sign up!
The SCAR Project SCHEDULE
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