Rosie the Riveter has long-been a symbol of strength and empowerment for women. Thanks to local artist Jon Nichols, she is also now a symbol of courage for cancer survivors.
As part of Emanuel Medical Center’s 16th annual Women’s Cancer Awareness Night Out, Nichols and three other artists came together to create a breathtaking mural inspired by Rosie the Riveter to celebrate those affected by cancer.
“I’ve always viewed Rosie the Riveter as an image of courage,” said Nichols. “I hope that our mural will inspire that for others too.”
At the beginning of the women’s cancer event, Nichols was joined onstage by his wife Tricia, his niece Katrina Eck and friend Larry DeTomasi, an art teacher at Pitman High School. Throughout the entire event, the four worked diligently while painting 24 individual canvases as the other elements of the program took place before them.
Although the 24 individual canvases did not make much sense to the audience while being painted, the big reveal of the final product left the audience breathless.
After listening to several stories of cancer survivors while painting in the background, the team of four brought all 24 pieces together to create one giant 8-foot by 10-foot foot mural of Rosie the Riveter in breast cancer pink.
“We changed the color scheme of the image to help bring awareness to different types of cancers, so there are a lot of pinks, purples and teals,” said Nichols.
The opportunity to paint the mural meant a lot to Nichols, as his own sister is a breast cancer survivor as well.
“I love any chance to paint of course, but especially for this kind of event,” said Nichols. “It’s a great cause, and there’s a lot of hope and joy that comes along with it.”
The mural will be on display at Emanuel Cancer Center, located at 880 E. Tuolumne Rd., throughout the month of October in honor of breast cancer awareness.