From left: Wendy Csoka, Jane Kuruschkat, and Elaine Lipitz.
A view of the Saks Fifth Avenue exhibition, showing some of Elaine Lipitz’s sculptures.
About The Artists
In July, 1997, artist Wendy Csoka underwent 10-1/2 hours of Neurosurgery for the removal of a benign brain tumor. Here are two samples of images painted by Wendy before and after her surgery. She has the unique ability to share her experience visually, which helped her through the process and resonates with all those who see the paintings. From the terror of the day before surgery, to the moment when she threw away the cane she needed for balance for months after, these paintings are an inspiration for anyone faced with a life-threatening illness.
Wendy Csoka in front of one of her paintings.
Wendy Csoka’s large artworks around the mezzanine at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Elaine Lipitz is a 76-year-old breast cancer survivor.
Elaine Lipitz beside one of her sculptures.
Jane Karushckat was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and began chemotherapy in 1993. Some time during that year, a spark appeared for Jane … in September of 1993 Jane took her first lesson in oils, and by May of 1994, she had her first exhibit. Since then, Jane has produced hundreds of oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, pen and ink drawings, and has recently begun to work with acrylics. For Jane, painting has been a motivating factor in self-expression and inner tranquility while healing.
In addition, Jane has been involved in a human rights fight related to her breast cancer. She was fired from her job as legal secretary in January, 1993, with the reason the chemotherapy treatments she had just started for breast cancer would prevent h”er from doing her job.” Jane had missed less than a week of work following a mastectomy, and one day after a reaction drug therapy. Jane contacted a Westbury, NY lawyer who has become a specialist in issues of discrimination against breast-cancer patients, who filed a complaint with the Division of Human Rights. The next step for Jane is a public hearing on the facts of the case, before a Division of Human Rights administrative law judge with the authority to award damages. New York Human Rights Law prohibits job discrimination based on disability.
There are over 180,000 breast cancer patients diagnosed each year in the United States. Experts say there is a pervasive hidden problem of job discrimination against breast cancer patients. Jane Karuschkat’s case may help to bring awareness to this kind of discrimination.
Some of Jane Karuschkat’s works