Beyond the Canvas

What is it?

Beyond The Canvas is a program developed by William Tennent High School students in 2019 in collaboration with Fox Chase Cancer Center. This program connects student artists from William Tennent to cancer patients at Fox Chase in order to create a work of art inspired by the patients' individual journey.  During a 3 week program called senior experience, students interview, draft, and create a piece of artwork based off the individuals personal cancer journey.

To learn more about Beyond the Canvas click HERE.

What is the process?

  • Students enrolled in AP Art are given an authentic challenge by a Fox Chase professional
  • Students work with teacher mentors and innovation coaches to develop potential solutions to the given challenge
  • Students pitch potential solutions and receive iterative feedback from professional partners
  • Students share their ideas in a culminating conference

The Beyond The Canvas collection


Cailean Cavanaugh

The Hand You Make
Inspired by:  Judy Owens

For Judy, cancer treatment is  an act of playing the odds. As long as there is a chance for a successful treatment, she is determined to fight as hard as she can. In the end, her resolve endured through two diagnoses and grim chances.

The hand of cards represents the uncertainty of cancer treatment, and how little can be known with conviction . Upon closer inspection, the hand is not at all random. The cards show the people that supported Judy and the treatment she received. It is because of these players  that make her hand a royal flush. Symbolizing Judy’s successful treatment; and the most valuable players from her eclectic team, Judy sat at the table, and won her hand.

Judy’s experience is unique to her, but just as there are many other hands in poker, so too are there many types of support systems that can help people through difficult times. While uncertainty of cancer treatment is daunting, it can also be a reason for hope. With grit, strength, and the right support, anyone can give themselves the best chance possible in an uncertain future.

View Cailean's presentation of his artwork

Mike Sienkiewicz

Inspired by:  Larry Risch

Who are our heros? Are heros only those found on the pages of our imagination? Or can heros be those soft-spoken figures who, through their struggles and experiences, develop a tenacious optimism, seeing new challenges as opportunities for growth? For if these are the characteristics on which a hero may be born, these are undoubtedly the scaffolding for Larry’s story. 

In the moments just following his final treatments, this  work catches a man, reading a card from his family. This is the other side of the battle. The man’s strong, calm posture is highlighted by the tears flowing from his eyes. Radiating outward from this modest hero is the relief felt after a hard battle has been won. Blanketed in the support of his family, the warm plants represent the loving support and growth from Larry’s most beloved. Always there to nourish, always there to light the way, is it the hero who leads the charge or the unconditional family cheering in the shadows? The words between the man and those we can’t see, speak volumes of the courage pouring out from all and inviting us in to the moment.

View Mike's presentation of his artwork


Diraya Serrano


Inspired by:  Judy Bernstein

Survivor of too many diagnoses to count, the tiny woman with the enormous resolve, is an omnipresent force in our cancer center. Judy is the personification of tenacity, compassion, perseverance, empathy, and faith. The allegories inscribed throughout the surface of the vase pay tribute to her ongoing story and reflect her generosity of spirit. A hand on the shoulder of a woman in distress represents Judy’s countless voluntary hours supporting patients as they receive treatment. The lotus flower pays homage to Judy’s personal war with the disease and symbolizes her vitality to bloom big and bright through the waters of her diagnosis had become muddied. Looking forward, the sun rising from behind the clouds speaks to Judy’s unwavering vision of purpose and life beyond the current grey. Judy encourages each of us to cry and let out our emotions, so that we may hear our lives more clearly. Tears of both sorrow and joy frame her journey. This work’s intention is to serve as an invitation to reflect on each of our personal journeys.

Tyler Yanuzzi

Her Tranquility
Inspired by: Lainie Sykes

A former patient and caregiver at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Lainie describes the memory of her diagnosis and treatment as a time when she yearned for an escape. Imagery of water surrounded her and the cool enveloped her into a calm--far away from fear and anxiety. This image is created through torn strips of tape. The immediacy of the tears and subtle overlapping pieces, build volume and presence, for both the hand and water. Cold blue water awaits the hand searching for peace, as the tranquility responds and serves as a respite for the weary.

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