Local artist raises money nation-wide for breast cancer with the sale of her painting, “Waiting For The Train”

Tue, 09/26/2006 - 3:13pm
By: The Citizen

Carla Smith

Carla Cook Smith always dreamed of painting. What she never dreamed was that the recent painting lessons she received as a gift from her husband, Clint, would lead her to become one of the most sought after new artists in the South and across the nation. Nor could she have envisioned that her desire to paint would someday lead her to become a spokeswoman and well known artist/advocate for women suffering from the disease of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women and statistics show 1.2 million women will be diagnosed with the disease this year worldwide.

“Soon after taking art lessons in Fayette County, I went to my first art show with very few originals to sell because I had been painting such a short time,” Smith said. “Instead, I had prints made of my work in watercolor, “Waiting For The Train.” The vivid painting depicts five women at a train station and was inspired by the brutal interruption of breast cancer in the lives of two close friends. The evening of the art show, I decided to list a print of “Waiting For The Train” on Ebay. One of the listing options was to donate part of sale proceeds to a charity. My two friends who had just started chemotherapy for breast cancer were on my mind. To honor those two women, I was prompted to check the box to donate a percentage of sales to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.”

Smith explained that this led to the on-going practice of using the painting to raise money for those suffering from cancer.

In her own words, and from the heart, she describes the painting:
“Waiting For The Train” represents women from all walks of life. Breast cancer is no respecter of persons. Women across the nation are waiting for the train...waiting to know whether they are boarding the train: Biopsy Stop, Results Stop, Radiation Stop, Chemotherapy Stop, Mastectomy Stop. All the while waiting, women are living and creating, deciding on a destination.”Waiting For The Train” exemplifies choices beyond the harsh reality of illness.

The painting has garnered the attention of doctor’s offices, art galleries, resorts and fundraising groups from across the country. As her pieces gained popularity, Carla started receiving requests for T-shirts, greeting cards and stationery, which are now available. These items along with limited edition, signed and numbered prints are helping to raise money for various causes dedicated to the fight against cancer. To date, the sale of “Waiting For The Train” prints and shirts have raised funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, The Atlanta 2 Day Walk and Relay for Life. Presently, Smith is the featured artist for the month of September at Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Fayetteville. Her work can also be seen at Arts Clayton Gallery in Jonesboro, Ga.

When time permits, Smith does commissioned work to commemorate special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, graduation, birthdays etc.

For more information and prices on the Carla Cook Smith collections, or if your group is interested in raising funds for cancer related organizations, please contact her at carlacook@pobox.com or call 678-416-8812.

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