Bam! Pow! Zap! Take That Childhood Cancer!

By: Holly Hollman
Comic book fans have their favorite heroes and villains. Batman and Robin vs. Poison Ivy. Superman vs. Lex Luther.

Local artists are encouraging our community’s youngest heroes in their own battle against the villain known as childhood cancer by hosting a Comic Book Art Contest and Exhibit at High Cotton Arts. For example, one art student submitted a painting on cardboard that shows a bald boy looking in the mirror. Instead of a cancer patient, he sees a superhero.

“As a community, there are so many ways we can support families fighting this disease,” said Athens Arts League Board Member Holly Hollman. “In the arts community, we can provide a creative outlet and give children and adult artists an avenue to inspire us to act whether that is supporting cancer foundations, increasing awareness about prevention and treatment, or doing something as simple as collecting cola tabs to send to St. Jude’s.”

Kristie Williams with Eli’s Block Party Childhood Cancer Foundation approached Athens Arts League about hosting a Comic Book Art Contest and Exhibit for Childhood Cancer Month in September. The Foundation hosts an annual Superhero Day in Athens to uplift those impacted by the disease and to raise funds to support the Foundation.

“Comic book art seemed like the ideal theme to coincide with Superhero Day,” said Athens Arts League Board President Amy Golden.

Kristie Williams’ son, Eli, recently died from his battle with childhood cancer. This week, Leah Seibert, an Elkmont teenager, died from her battle with childhood cancer.

“High Cotton Arts is humbled to have a part in honoring our community’s youngest heroes like Leah Seibert and Eli Williams for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month,” Golden said. “The artwork students have submitted have evoked strong emotions in the organizers of the contest. I think the public will be impressed with how students have creatively captured the fight to stop cancer.”

The contest and exhibit were open to students and adults and drew submission from as far as Yonkers, NY. The artwork will be on display starting Wednesday, Sept. 6, and through the month of September. The winning submissions will be displayed at Superhero Day on Sept. 9 at Big Spring Memorial Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then will return to High Cotton Arts. Steelcase joined Athens Arts League in sponsoring the contest.

In addition to the contest and exhibit, High Cotton Arts will host a Marvel-ous Fridays After Five event on Sept. 8 from 5-8 p.m. The event name is a play on words for Marvel Comics to highlight the Comic Book Art Exhibit. There will be music and activities including a visit from one of the superheroes from Eli’s Block Party Childhood Cancer Foundation.

For more information about Eli’s Block Party and Superhero Day, go online at
For more information about Athens Arts League and its efforts to support art for the community, go online at
By: Holly Hollman