Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

The Art Of Janet Roberts And Billy Zane To Be Sold To Benefit Cancer Support Community Benjamin Center in LA

Billy Zane and Janet Roberts

On Thursday, May 17, 2012 the Cancer Support Community–Benjamin Center is bringing together two exceptional artists, Janet Roberts and Billy Zane, for The Fresh Canvas Party, an exclusive gallery fundraiser which will include live entertainment, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Hosted by Frances Fisher, Shoshana Blank, Ann Benjamin and Cancer Support Community – Benjamin Center President & CEO, Teresa Bond, the event will celebrate 30 years of service with the sale of 30 original fine art pieces sold to benefit the center.

The event will take place at the Museum of Flying in Santa Monica, showcasing fifteen environmentally friendly paintings from both Janet Roberts and Billy Zane to help sustain the free-of-charge programs offered at the CSC-Benjamin Center. The organization is at the forefront of patient-centered cancer care, which incorporates the idea that the body and mind are connected, and psychosocial support is a key element for quality of life and may even help with recovery.

Photo credit: Barnaby Draper

As a four-time cancer survivor and active participant at the CSC-Benjamin Center, Janet Roberts uses her art as a means to help others affected by cancer.  She paints with an emotional energy that forms a mental, physical and spiritual relationship between artist and canvas, canvas and audience.  Roberts explains that many professionals and experts within the cancer community speak openly about genetics and medicine but rarely emphasize the correlation between quality of life and health outcomes.  In her words, “the CSC-Benjamin Center is a sanctuary; a place where people can nurture their mind body and soul.”

Roberts has partnered with her good friend, social activist, actor, and artist Billy Zane for this enriching event.  Innovators at the forefront of the sustainable art movement, both share a passion for constructing their pieces with recycled or eco-sustainable materials.  Zane began painting during the filming of “Titanic,” utilizing only local materials to create his abstract works. Items like old signage, shipping crates, and shelf liners become his canvas and soil, clay or wine become his paint. Roberts creates her pieces with eco-friendly supplies by infusing soy, milk, clay and organic elements onto organic cotton and linen canvas.  Each will bring their distinctive style and vision to create an incredible display of masculine and feminine perspective.  These pieces of art are ideal for green or LEED certified buildings/homes.  Private showings  of the artwork can also be arranged.

Today the CSC – Benjamin Center continues to serve people living in West Los Angeles and the broader Los Angeles community with a full menu of free-of-charge, essential programs overseen by licensed therapists including; support groups, mind/body classes, educational and nutritional workshops, social activities, and individual counseling sessions.

From its beginnings 30 years ago to today, the Cancer Support Community, now headquartered in Washington, D.C., has expanded to 57 chapters, 100 satellite locations (i.e. in-hospital services) and online support that reach 750,000 people worldwide.  All services are free of charge.

Artist Janet Roberts (Photo credit: Barnaby Draper)

WHEN:  Thursday, May 17, 2012   6:00 – 10:00 PM


Museum of Flying
3100 Airport Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Ph. 310-398-2500

TICKETS: General tickets are $250. To purchase tickets, please call 310-314-2555. For Event and Sponsorship Inquiries Contact Chantal Lundberg at Chantallundberg@verizon.net


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