Loveland artist draws inspiration from cancer, combining science and art

By: Brad Shannon Friday May 31, 2013 0 comments Tags: Brad Shannon, Loveland

By Brad Shannon

For InnovatioNews

Angela Hopkins
LOVELAND - For many cancer is foreboding, but when it touched the life of Angela Canada Hopkins, she took inspiration from the challenge.

Hopkins initially painted the disease by deconstructing microscope slides of cancer cells and reinterpreting them. Her work has since progressed to a more abstract style that references general characteristics of cells.

Her unique combination of science and art is beginning to garner more attention. Recently, she licensed one of her pieces for the cover of The Abundance: A Novel by Amit Majmudar (

Elsewhere, the scientific community is finding her artwork a perfect complement to their work spaces, symposiums and conferences.

Cover art for a novel about cancer seems to be an ideal placement for Hopkins's cancer cell artwork. When Rick Pracher, art director at Henry Holt and Company, researched artwork for the cover of The Abundance: A Novel, he went looking for images that would juxtapose the ideas within the novel. His research brought him to Angela's paintings.

"I thought the description of the unusual beauty in something so destructive fit harmoniously with the novel," Pracher said.

The novel tells how a grandmother quietly accepts her fate but hopes one last visit from her family can heal a longstanding divide. The family slowly discovers the healing effect that a fight with cancer can have.

Released in March, sales of the book have so far been modest but reviews are very good and "the author loves the jacket," says Pracher.

Hopkins' artwork is slated to be displayed at the invitation-only opening gala of the new Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI -

A multi-tenant bioscience complex in Portland, Ore., OTRADI will host its opening event on June 19 and feature several of Angela's Cell Series paintings. The paintings will remain on display to tenants and the public at the facility until July.

The growing area of bioscience finds a complement in Hopkins' fascinating artwork, and the cellular themes fit right in with the OTRADI research facility's mission.

Hopkins is finding increasing interest in her work from cancer- and health-related symposiums and discussions. Conference planners and researchers find her paintings enhance discussions surrounding cancer and the science behind diseases and disorders.

Late last year, Hopkins' work was featured at the Genentech & Livestrong Rev Forum in Austin, Tex. More recently, Hopkins' Cell No. 9 was used for the cover of the program for the Monell Chemical Senses Center's Spring Colloquium (, a seminar on cells and biology.

Kelly Van Sickle, development coordinator for Monell, said she was pleased to find such appropriate artwork for their event, noting that "Angela's artwork on our program booklet was a big hit with our guests."

Hopkins said she is delighted that her work has such significance to others, and can add interest and color to sometimes-staid science and biology research events, spaces and publications.

After her father succumbed to cancer in June 2001, Hopkins said she decided the best way to overcome her new "enemy" was by embracing it through her art. Each painting begins with a slide of a cell, which she then deconstructs and reinterprets using triumphant colors and bold brush strokes.

Each canvas telegraphs a message of hope to cancer sufferers, cancer survivors and their loved ones. Hopkins is a full-time artist and lives in Loveland with her husband, James. Her work is included in numerous private and public collections, including South Bend Memorial Hospital, South Bend, Ind. and Kettering Medical Center, Kettering, Ohio.

It has also been featured on the cover of Wavelength Journal and four issues of the Journal of Oncology Navigation and Survivorship.

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Brad Shannon

About the Author: Brad Shannon

Brad is an award-winning communications professional specializing in B2B technology with Shannon Marketing Communications. Contact Brad at brad @