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PEM teams up with Mass General Cancer Center for community partnership project

Released February 07, 2017

‘The Scarf Project’ nurtures the tie between art and healing by gifting wearable art to cancer patients

SALEM, MA –– The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) announces a community partnership with Mass General Cancer Center during the run of the museum’s WOW® World of WearableArt exhibition, on view February 18 through June 11. ‘The Scarf Project | Nurturing the Tie Between Art & Healing’ brings together a leading art museum and a top ranked cancer care provider to illuminate the healing elements of art and help patients maintain strength, dignity and beauty during the physically and emotionally challenging times.

Designed by Massachusetts artist and cancer survivor Bonnie Ashmore, each scarf transforms the molecular structure of chemotherapeutic agents into a vibrant and empowering motif. For each scarf purchased, another will be donated to a patient at the Mass General Cancer Center. The scarves will be sold for $60 at the PEM Shop, Images Boutique at the Mass General Cancer Center in Boston and at the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center in Danvers. The scarves will also be given to patients at a makeover and scarf tying workshop hosted by PEM and run by Kathleen Gill Bazazi, general manager of Images Boutique, and David Nicholas, an internationally renowned makeup industry expert.

This community partnership is inspired by the globally touring WOW® World of WearableArt exhibition which supports the Breast Cancer Research Trust in New Zealand and features a striking artwork, Beast in the Beauty, which was created as a tribute to women living with cancer and their struggle to maintain dignity and beauty during treatment. This project follows on the heels of PEM’s Dress for Success Boston collaboration, which collected over 1,000 pairs of shoes for women with limited resources during the run of the Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition.

For the last 25 years, New Zealand has hosted an annual design competition that challenges sculptors, costume designers, textile artists and makers of all stripes to explore the boundary between fashion and art, and to "get art off the walls and onto the body." The WOW® World of WearableArt competition is the country's largest art event and each year it culminates in a live runway show for winners in front of an audience of 50,000.

WOW® World of WearableArt — the exhibition — presents 32 ensembles the competition's most unique, spectacular and outlandish wearable artworks. Expertly crafted in a range of materials, from wood and aluminum to fiberglass and taxidermy, these creations celebrate lavish creativity and push the limits of wearability. PEM is the exclusive U.S. east coast venue for this interactive and theatrical exhibition. The exhibition is on view February 18 through June 11, 2017.

Mass General Cancer Center is among the leading cancer care providers in the U.S., and is consistently ranked on U.S. News & World Report’s top ten list. The Cancer Center comprises more than 37 treatment programs within 29 fully integrated, multidisciplinary disease centers and a vast array of support and educational services. As part of one of the largest hospital-based research programs in the nation, and through a powerful synergy between laboratory scientists and bedside physicians, the Cancer Center fosters innovation in cancer research. Physician investigators conduct nearly 400 clinical trials annually and are revolutionizing the future of cancer medicine.

Peabody Essex Museum / Bob Packert

Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time -- including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, Native American, Oceanic and African art. PEM's campus affords a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-four noted historic structures grace PEM’s campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that is the only such example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States, and the Phillips Library, which holds one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and the third Thursday of every month until 9 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. ADMISSION: Adults $20; seniors $18; students $12. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $6 (plus museum admission). Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang. INFO: Call 866?745?1876 or visit

PR Contacts:

Whitney Van Dyke - Director of Communications - 978-542-1828 -

Melissa Woods - Communications Specialist - 978.542.1609 -