Maori artists visit Cancer Center

Visit part of ongoing collaboration with local artists

By Sarah Bello

Maori artists visit cancer center in Astoria, OR

The CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative hosted special visitors from 7,000 miles away last week. A group of Maori artists from New Zealand shared their art and culture with CMH caregivers in an engagement activity last Wednesday evening, part of an ongoing collaboration with CMH and local artists. 

Richard Rowland, ceramics instructor at Clatsop Community College and a renowned potter, helped bring the group to the area to participate in workshops and cultural events in October. Rowland has provided many of the art pieces showcased in the Cancer Center, and with his connection to CMH, facilitated the Maori artists’ visit. 

Maori artists visit cancer center in Astoria, OR

“The purpose of this collaboration is to find ways to use art for healing,” said Chris Laman, director of the Cancer Center. “This particular event was designed for caregivers who work in the Cancer Center and was really focused on developing relationships through creation of art.”

The artists showed caregivers how to use clay to make bowls and small traditional musical instruments. Amy Longsdon, a dosimetrist in the Radiation Oncology Department, said she found the personal connections to be the most beneficial aspect of the event. 

“It was fantastic to meet the artist who contributed so much to our center,” Longsdon said. “Also, 

Maori artists visit cancer center in Astoria, OR

spending some time with my coworkers, just learning and creating, enhanced the sense of family we have here at CMH.”

Laman said he was overwhelmed with the success and impact of the event, describing it as magical and what was imagined when the leadership team envisioned collaboration with local artists. 

Maori artists visit cancer center in Astoria, OR

“These types of collaborations are really how we are going to make our community a healthier place,” Laman said. “Putting on events like this shows our caregivers how important they are to us.”

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