Ribbon of Joy

Local Artist Fills Georgetown Lombardi Infusion Center with ‘Ribbon of Joy’

Ribbons have become a popular and easily recognizable symbol of hope and support for cancer patients, survivors and advocates, with different cancers represented by a rainbow of colors.

“Ribbon of Joy” painting as it appeared in the Lombardi Atrium. The painting will be installed in the newly built infusion center in April.

Local artist Jo Fleming took this concept and transformed it into “Ribbon of Joy,”a 39-foot-long modular painting that will soon be installed in Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center’s new infusion center. Fleming, from Great Falls, Va, hopes the artwork will provide an emotional lift to patients and their caregivers and promote positive energy and healing.

“We diagnose and treat in an atmosphere filled with creativity and hope,” says Nancy Morgan, director of the Georgetown Lombardi Arts and Humanities Program, who has worked with Fleming to bring the impressive piece to Georgetown Lombardi. “Jo captured our philosophy of caring for the whole person in her paintings. It fits us perfectly. The reference to cancer is subtle, yet every person with cancer who sees the paintings gets the message.”

Fleming visited Georgetown Lombardi to get a sense of the environment and people and was inspired by the elements of the space that were already present, such as a large, multi-color mobile in the center of the lobby. She then created “Ribbon of Joy,” which mimics the sense of warmth and care she witnessed. The painting features 13 vibrantly colored cancer ribbons that flow together through a changing landscape.

“I wanted to find a meaningful way to address the individual. I wanted the work to say ‘We are all in this together,’” Fleming says on her process of creating the painting. “Cancer affects almost everyone—ourselves, our family and friends—so I joined the ribbons to each other and allowed them to flow through a changing landscape.” Fleming, whose father died of esophageal cancer and mother-in-law of lung cancer, knows first-hand the effect cancer can have on a family.

“I hope the artwork welcomes and pulls the visitor into the moment, outside of his or her concerns and provides a little lift,” says Fleming.

“Ribbon of Joy” will be installed in the infusion center at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in April 2012. To find out more about Jo Fleming, please visit http://www.jofleming.com.

By: Lauren Wolkoff and Alaina Farrish