06.05.14Stony Brook University Cancer Center

Mare Dianora is currently teaching art workshops for cancer patients at Stony Brook University Cancer Center. on Long Island, New York. Projects include water color painting, painting garden pots and birdhouses, jewelry making, collage, book arts and card making.

03.25.14"Exploring the Concept of Home" Workshop ~

"Exploring the Concept of Home" Workshop ~ I would like to thank Krogerup College and the Crossing Borders Global Studies Program in Humlebæk, Denmark for inviting me to be a guest lecturer today at the school. I was both inspired and humbled by the stories the group of international students shared with me over the course of the day. I am looking forward to our continued collaboration together.

10.23.13Grand Street Studio ~ Private Lessons Available!

Grand Street Studio is now offering private art classes in your home for your child or children. Classes are tailored to fit your child's interests and abilities. Painting, needle felting, paper making, book making... the sky is the limit!! Classes are designed for ages 3 and up... Call or text now (631.463.2040) for details and prices - discounts for more than one child, so invite a friend along for the adventure!

09.26.13Day of Hope and Renewal ~

Thank you to Southampton Hospital for a wonderful and inspiring "Day of Renewal and Hope" Retreat - for breast, ovarian cervical and uterine cancer survivors. We had an amazing three sessions of book making and a gorgeous day at Cormaria Retreat Center in Sag Harbor, New York!

11.07.12 Card Making Workshop ~

Please join us for this afternoon demonstration and class to learn new card making techniques. A handmade card is a very special gift to receive and in this day of increased technology, becoming more and more rare. Come learn some simple new approaches that you can do on your own - such as embossing, collage and simple folding techniques. A variety of materials will be available for your use to make unique cards, holiday cards and more!

Date and Time: Saturday, December 1st from 3-5 pm

Price: $15 dollars for class and materials. Feel free to bring any photographs (originals or copies) or special papers, etc. to personalize your own creations!

Call to register. Space is limited! 631.463.2040

Location: Bay Burger Restaurant (will not be open to public)

1742 Sag Harbor Turnpike • Sag Harbor, NY 11963

01.07.12Needle Felting Workshop at Grand Street Studio ~

New Workshop Series ~ 'Introduction to Needle Felting!' Join us for this class to learn the basics of needle felting - a dry felting technique that uses special needles and wool. Each participant will make one animal. This workshop will be offered once a month so you can build on your skills and create a seasonal creature every time! There is an initial $15 materials fee that will get you started ...with all of the materials (if you need them) and the cost for the workshop is $20 per person. The class will be Tuesday, January 31st from 7-9pm but registration is limited and ends on January 20th to ensure ordering materials for all! Call 631.463.2040 for more info or visit Grand Street Studio on Facebook!

09.22.11'Got Art?' Small Works Fundraiser Exhibition

Come to The Creative Center's annual fundraiser, "GOT ART?" for a fabulous evening celebrating the arts and arts in healthcare! With your ticket of $25, event attendees will get to take home an original 4 x 6 piece of artwork donated by artists world-wide! Come marvel at art, make art, drink wine, eat food and help The Creative Center continue to bring arts programming to people with cancer, chronic illnesses, and through all stages of life.

Friday, September 23, 2011, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Speyer Hall in the University Settlement
184 Eldridge St. New York, New York

09.11.11"East End Artists Memorialize 9/11" ~ from the Southampton Press newspaper

Shortly after two airplanes slammed into the Twin Towers in Manhattan on September 11, 2001, a young witness remarked to her mother about what she thought were “birds on fire," but which were actually people jumping from the towers, North Sea artist Dennis Snyder recalled reading in the newspaper.

He took to his paintbrush and, in a departure from his regular repertoire of painting people and East End landscapes, Mr. Snyder created a oil painting called “Birds on Fire," based on that line and his own recollections from being in New York City that fateful day. A practicing Buddhist, he had arrived in the city that day for a calligraphy workshop at the temple, the Village Zendo.

In a more Zen piece, titled “Gaté, Gaté"—Sankskrit for “Gone, Gone" and named after a mantra—Mr. Snyder painted a scene of two stone columns on the beach topped with two bowls of incense, and a gate.

His two works of art, along with a few others by East End artists, are on display through Wednesday, September 28, in the “Remembering 9/11" exhibit at the Lyceum Gallery in the Montaukett Learning Resource Center on Suffolk County Community College’s eastern campus on Speonk-Riverhead Road in Northampton. The show features art in a variety of media, including painting, photography, printmaking, digital media and assemblage. A memorial program will be held at the gallery on Monday, September 12, at 11:30 a.m.

Works by local artists will also be featured from Friday, September 9, through Saturday, October 1, at the Suffolk County Historical Society on West Main Street in Riverhead in a 9/11 memorial exhibit marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in conjunction with the Riverhead Free Library. The opening reception is Friday, September 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. That exhibit, which explores the history of the Twin Towers, interpretive artworks in a range of media, and a three-dimensional steel sculpture of the buildings, displays a piece of book art by Sag Harbor artist Mare Dianora. Titled “9.11.01," the work is a small book comprising snippets of email correspondence shared by family and friends around the world.

“One thing I am left with is how heavy our hearts are still 10 years later. Everyone is still so eager to share their story about where they were on 9/11. The conversation can make a room still, even after so much time," Ms. Dianora explained. “This snapshot of time represents so many relationships, including people who have since passed away or moved away or we have simply lost contact with."

Ms. Dianora moved to Sag Harbor from Portland, Oregon, in the spring of 2001 to be nearer her grandparents, who lived there but have since died. As a result of the move, she said, she complied a number of emails exchanged between family on the West Coast as well as in Denmark, her husband, Claes Brondal’s, native country.

Ms. Dianora is the only resident of Southampton and East Hampton towns to have work displayed in the historical society exhibit, although the historical society will present two special programs in connection with the 9/11 exhibit: “Collecting Folklore and Oral Histories," a lecture to be held on Thursday, September 22, at 7 p.m. by Dr. John Eilertsen, director of the Bridgehampton Historical Society; and “Creating a Memory Book," a workshop to be held on Saturday, October 1, at 11 a.m. with Ms. Dianora. The historical society asks lecture participants for a $5 donation and reservations are requested. The workshop, for which pre-registration is required, costs $20 for materials.

Suffolk County Community College’s exhibit will also feature two oil paintings by Steve Alpert of Quogue: “Portrait of a Soldier," which Mr. Alpert said “embodies any soldier that’s ever been in combat anytime, any place, anywhere," and “Approach," an abstract of black aircraft appearing to come in for a landing. Also featured are an oil painting, “Save Me, Choose Me, Feed Me, Help Me," by Elizabeth Malunowicz of Sag Harbor, and a collagraph by Beth Giles of North Haven.

“I don’t think anyone is actually removed from the event," said Ms. Giles, whose collagraph, “The Day the World Went to War," is an abstraction named after a newspaper headline.

09.03.119/11 Memorial Exhibition

In honor of the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, the Suffolk County Historical Society will present a September 11th Memorial Exhibit, in collaboration with the Riverhead Free Library. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Friday, September 9th, from 6 - 8 PM.

The exhibit explores the history of the Twin Towers with rarely seen photographs of their construction, and also features interpretive artworks in a range of mediums by artists Lance Corey, George D'Amato, Mare Dianora, Gary Jacquemin Leonardo Liguori, Kevin O'Connell, Mary Carlson and J. Lee Elsbree.

09.03.11Memory Book Making Workshop ~

Date: Saturday, October 1, 11:00 am
Location: 300 West Main Street, Riverhead, NY
Materials cost: $20. Pre-registration required
Please contact the SCHS at (631) 727-2881 x100

Learn how to make several simple personal journals using cutting and folding techniques. Each book will be a handmade creation you can keep or share as a gift. Textured papers and printed papers will be provided for collage and variety. No experience necessary. Demonstration will also include additional instructions for advanced techniques for those who are interested in taking the projects further!

09.03.117th Annual Bird House Auction

Benefiting Ellen Hermanson Breast Center ~ Southampton Hospital

Auction ~
North Main Gallery
4 North Main Street, Southampton, NY
October 15, 2011, 5:00 pm-8:00 pm

04.03.11Tea Book Making Workshop at Islip Art Museum

Date; April 26, 2011
Time: 7-9 pm
Location: Islip Art Museum
Phone: (631) 224-5402

Make your own tea book and share some tea and stories while making art. Creativity and tea go hand in hand! This small hand sewn book project is simple to make, no experience necessary! It is the perfect little book to jot some thoughts into or make to share with a friend for a personal one of a kind gift.

03.03.11Body Image & Paper Doll Making Workshop ~

Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Time: 4:00 pm (approx. 1.5 hour workshop) ~
Location: Eastside Cultural Society House
423 SE 15th Avenue, Portland, Oregon
$15 to participate

Paper dolls are best known as a paper toy for children. The body is not typically the focal point of the piece but a base for covering with clothes of a particular historical style or fashion. This workshop will focus on creating the body as a representation of our own physical body. We will use the simplicity of this object to explore body image, how we define beauty, and how society and the media delivers its constant message to us on how we should physically appear. This project will be a fun and playful workshop – creating in the spirit of the whimsical aspect of the dolls while simultaneously addressing the seriousness of the subject at hand. Each participant will create a two dimensional jointed paper doll that represents themselves while focusing on the aspects that make each of us unique. Supplies will be available – in the form of fabric, textured and printed papers, water color paints, colored pencils and pens, etc. – to embellish and clothe your paper doll. During the process of creating our unique paper dolls, we will share in a dialogue about body image, viewing the self as other, how illness, pregnancy, injury and age affect the body and the woman’s vs. man’s role in home and society. This 2 hour session will be to create the paper doll piece. There will be a presentation of the project and the goals of the discussion, including sharing samples of work and instructions. Participants can create the doll to represent themselves in a number of ways – an ideal version of themselves, how they think others see them, how they would like to physically transform with age – just to name a few.

02.02.11Grand Street Studio ~ Grand Opening!

I have now opened the Grand Street Studio for teaching workshops, hosting guest artists and building community. Please visit our facebook page for a list of current events!

02.02.11NFBHC ~ Day of Health and Serenity

North Fork Breast Health Coalition
Day of Health and Serenity
Saturday, April 30th

Hilton Garden Inn,
Route 58, Riverhead, New York

The Art of Food and Nourishment ~ Discuss, explore, discover and create about how we interact with food in our everyday lives and within our community.

01.20.11The Art of Food & Nourishment

Dates: Monday, February 21 & Wednesday, February 23
Time: 9:30am - 11:30am
Place: Southampton Hospital
Fee: $75 for the series
Pre-registration is required. To sign up, please call 631.726.8800

A two day workshop series for middle school students to discuss, explore, discover and create about how we interact with food in our everyday lives and within our community.

Session One ~ Food in Our Community & Food and Our Bodies

Topics discussed: Where does our food come from? What food is grown in our local community? What does it mean to eat ‘healthy’? What does it mean to have a ‘healthy body image’? How does the media affect our ideas? This session we will make a planter to start a garden of our own. We will also make a postcard to mail to a friend with a healthy message for encouragement.

Session Two ~ Food and Art & Food Rituals

Topics discussed: How do artists use art in their work? What are some food rituals found in other cultures around the world? What food rituals are in our own homes? This session we will create some edible art of our own using food as collage or sculpture. We will then photograph our masterpieces!

The Ed & Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute is located on the
third floor of the hospital, next to the Cardiac Rehabilitation.

01.19.11Bras as Art ~ 2011

"Build the Perfect Bra" Fashion Show & Auction
Fundraiser for South Fork Breast Health Coalition

Southampton Publick House ~ Southampton, NY

Date: Thursday, April 7th, 2011

09.28.106th Annual Bird House Auction ~

Benefiting Ellen Hermanson Breast Center ~ Southampton Hospital

Preview ~

Karyn Mannix Contemporary Gallery
36 Hampton Road, Southampton, NY
October 2, 2010, 5pm-7pm

Auction ~

Karyn Mannix Contemporary Gallery
36 Hampton Road, Southampton, NY
October 9, 2010, 5:30 pm-8 pm

02.13.10Bras as Art

"Build the Perfect Bra" Fashion Show & Auction
Fundraiser for South Fork Breast Health Coalition

Southampton Publick House ~ Southampton, NY
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
7-9 pm Tickets: $40

09.06.092009 Bird House Auction Invited Exhibition

Preview ~

Hampton Road Gallery 36 Hampton Road Southampton
October 3, 2009, 6pm-8pm

Honorary Chair: Renee Zellweger

03.26.09Doll Making Workshop - Two Day Workshop

North Fork Breast Health Coalition ~ Riverhead, NY
April 21, 2009 & April 28, 2009
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Please join us for this two evening workshop to learn how to make a simple sewn or cut out doll. Each doll will be made personal by collaging words, stories, photographs, drawings, scraps of paper or fabric. Your doll can tell a story of your own journey or made as a gift to be given to another. Please feel free to bring any supplies that you think would enhance your own project (the completed doll will be approx. 10 inches long.) Basic doll making and collage materials will be provided. Examples will be shown and stories will be shared. No experience necessary and technique will be learned that you can do at home with your own friends and family.

02.27.09NFBHC ~ Day of Health and Serenity

Day of Health and Serenity
March 28, 2009

Hilton Garden Inn,
Route 58, Riverhead, New York

Card Making Workshop, 1 pm -2 pm

Come learn how to create 'one of a kind' cards for you to connect with friends and family. Samples will be shown for various methods that are easy, fun and you can do at home. Supplies will be provided and no experience is necessary.

08.25.082008 Bird House Auction Invited Exhibition

Southampton Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane Southampton
Saturday, September 27 at 5:30pm to 8pm
Tickets are $40
Auctioneer: Allan Newman
Call 631.726.8606 for more information

Wine Reception ~
Hampton Road Gallery 36 Hampton Road Southampton
Saturday, September 20 2008, 6pm-8pm
Silent Bidding on Bird Houses begin
Birdhouses will also be on view Sunday, September 21 from 1-4pm
Or by appointment at 631.329.2811

Honorary Chair: Renee Zellweger

08.06.08Tea Book Workshop

August 21 ,2008, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm at North Fork Breast Coalition
Riverhead, New York

In this class, participants will learn how to make a small book that resembles a tea bag complete with tag. This project is perfect for a gift or individual card to mail off. No experience necessary and supplies will be provided. Feel free to bring your own photographs and scrap materials to add to your individual creation.

06.13.08Memory Box Making Workshop

July 14 ,2008, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm at North Fork Breast Coalition
Riverhead, New York

This workshop will allow participants to explore the box as an intimate object. Each participant will create a memory box containing personal photographs and memorabilia. We will also talk about examples of how other artists use boxes in their art practice.

05.02.08Art Making Workshops for South Fork Breast Health Coalition

Spa Weekend of Renewal and Hope in Lebanon, CT ~ May 2 -5th, 2008

Art Making workshops provided for the women of the South Fork Breast Health Coalition during their first Spa Weekend of Renewal and Hope at the Spa of Grand Lake in Lebanon, CT. Each day contained a different memory box workshop.

04.07.08Card Making Workshop for Breast Cancer Survivors

April 7,2008, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm at North Fork Breast Coalition
Riverhead, New York

Come learn how to create 'one of a kind' cards for you to connect with friends and family. Samples will be shown for various methods that are easy, fun and you can do at home. Supplies will be provided and no experience is necessary.

Guest artist is Mare Dianora who most recently conducted a card making workshop at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. Mare will be sharing examples of her own work and helping you to create your own small pieces of artwork to be mailed off.

04.06.08“Collaborative Voice: Naming Ourselves Beyond the War Time”

I am excited and proud to have been asked to be a part of this journal publication, “Collaborative Voice: Naming Ourselves Beyond the War Time" is now available to the public at:


12.06.07The Art of Healing: Inspiring Creativity in Cancer Patients

06 December 2007

By Annette Hinkle

Mare Dianora has long understood the profound power of art. But rather than something to be admired from behind glass or velvet ropes, Dianora feels that real art should be hands-on. Much of her own work in fact, is.

'I use bookmaking a lot in my own art,' explains Dianora. 'I've always been drawn to bookmaking, stories, photos or things I've written. I like the intimate nature of you and a book.'

For Dianora, these days it is not her own work, but that of her students - cancer patients and survivors - that is truly inspiring. They come to her workshops looking for a break from the stress of dealing with their illness, and leave having created art that is textural, inspirational, meaningful, and ultimately, she feels, healing.

As a volunteer at a children's hospital in Portland, Oregon, Dianora created art with sick children. When she moved east, she was sad to leave that work behind her. Then she found The Creative Center in New York City which placed Dianora at NYU Medical Center.

'I'm the artist in residence in adult oncology,' explains Dianora. 'For me it's so amazing to give this to adults. It's assumed there are playrooms and arts for the sick kids, but the adults need the attention and services too.'

Dianora spends one morning a week at the hospital's out-patient cancer center where she sets up at a table and invites people to join her for projects as they come in and out of appointments. In the afternoon, Dianora works creating bedside art with patients in the hospital. While she has found that children have no inhibitions and jump right in to projects, adults, on the other hand, often come with feelings of inadequacy when it comes to making art.

'Adults say, 'I'm not an artist,'' notes Dianora 'Society trains people by saying they're not artists. In school when you're not considered the artistic one, you just stop.'

Dianora's goal is to turn that philosophy on its ear. She loves sharing her enthusiasm for art with her students.

'I tell them, you can paint, you can do this,' says Dianora. 'One woman is 93, she's painting with me and making amazing things. It's not something she has done since she was a child.'

'They're given permission to be artists again.'

Dianora has a masters degree in fine arts and spends much of her time with arts in health care, a fairly new field that differs from art therapy in that she does not direct the work or ask that patients describe their emotions on paper. They are encouraged to simply relax and create as they like. With time, the words and the meaning comes, both in the work and in conversations with others in the group.

'I think that because I'm not a therapist, they open up,' notes Dianora.

The workshops also give patients a chance to focus on something other than cancer, if only for an hour or two. Having seen the difference art has made in the lives of patients at NYU Medical Center, Dianora, a Sag Harbor resident, decided to try and bring a similar program to East End patients.

'It's such a success in the city and there's such a need out here,' says Dianora. 'I gave Susie Roden a call. She was open to the idea.'

Susie Roden is the director and co-founder of the South Fork Breast Health Coalition. She is also a breast cancer survivor, and she immediately took Dianora up on the offer. Just this week, Dianora finished leading a book making program for breast cancer patients at Southampton Hospital sponsored by the coalition. For six weeks, a group of women, including Roden, came together to create their own handmade book using photographs, drawings or quotes.

'There are very personal and beautiful things in their books,' says Dianora. 'The importance of their relationships, who they're creating the book for and how strong that bond is.'

'Mare is absolutely incredible,' notes Roden. 'You feel very safe with her and she's full of knowledge. When we started the class, I went in just to do an introduction. Then I sat down and participated and loved it.'

'I made a book for my nine year old niece,' explains Roden. 'Some of us wrote things, some of us cut out quotes. For my niece all the quotes turned out to be about hope. Was I talking to myself or to her? Or was I saying that she always has to have hope?'

'One woman made a book for herself but it was all about her children, just really very sweet,' adds Roden who found that in the end, the class was about more than simply making art.

'How many times do you have an hour and half to color, draw and cut pictures, without doctors or someone pulling on your leg for dinner - just time for yourself? In the first class, no one was talking. But by the end, it was like we really knew each other.'

'None of us thought that we were artists. Now we think we're so good. That's Mare. She's the best.'

'I think arts in health care is emerging,' says Dianora. 'There's such a need. As cancer becomes a chronic illness, and is not seen as the end anymore, people are getting treatment and living normal lives. This is a nice gift to get them out and keep them going.'

Roden agrees that art, yoga and other activities offered by the South Fork Breast Health Coalition go a long way toward giving patients something to focus on beyond their diagnosis.

'You're done with treatment, the doctors says I won't see you for three months,' says Roden. 'That's why things like art, yoga and visualization are so important.'

On Monday, December 10, Dianora will lead a one session Holiday Card Making Workshop at Southampton Hospital (room 320) on Meeting House Lane from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sponsored by the South Fork Breast Health Coalition, it is open to all cancer patients and survivors -- both men and women. Call 726-8606 to register.