Dr. Sasha Vukelja's light-filled art studio, where she sculpts while her daughter Maxie paints, is a side of her life that most of her patients never see. Dr. V, as she's called, says her sculpting helps relieve the stress of her job as a noted Oncologist, dealing with cancer on a daily basis. But for Dr. V, art is more than a stress reliever, it's part of her heritage.
Dr. V's grandfather was an avid collector, her mother a noted artist and professor. But Dr. V's family was caught up in Yugoslavia's ethnic cleansing and by the time she was eleven, she and her family were political refugees, struggling to survive.
Dr. V and her mother escaped to America in 1972. Her father died in Yugoslavia still under house arrest. Although Dr. V's mother worked at five jobs, she continued to paint. Those paintings now line the walls of Dr. V's home and office. Dr. V's "Chemo Gallery", as she's named it, contains her mother's paintings as well as those of her cancer patients. Dr. V feels art expresses who they are and gives hope.
Dr. Sasha Vukelja's sculpture and paintings by her mother and daughter are now on display at the Tyler Museum Of Art, located on the TJC campus. For three generations, the mothers and daughters of this family have combined the fine arts with the art of living.
Amy Tatum, reporting. firstname.lastname@example.org