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Sonya Keshwani Honored at Twist Out Cancer x Wayne State University Art Gallery

Sonya Keshwani Honored at Twist Out Cancer x Wayne State University Art Gallery

As cancer patients, we're too used to hearing “you’re so inspiring”. But did you know, not only are you truly inspiring, you are a muse who deserves to be immortalized through art? I learned this for myself as a two time inspiration for the Twist Out Cancer organization, which works to honor and heal cancer survivors through art.

In collaboration with Twist Out Cancer and Wayne State University I shared my story with performance, video, painting, and drawing artist Bailey Scieszka. Through our many conversations over many months, Bailey created a installation which depicted my five years of survivorship through highly detailed paintings on watch dials. She transformed these miniature watches to tell my story in four acts:

Act 1 - Diagnosis in Washington DC

Act 2 - Learning to take it minute by minute

Act 3 - Lost and newfound connection with the self during hair loss

Act 4 - Successfully launching StyleEsteem in the fashion industry

I flew to Detroit for 24 hours for the in-person reveal during the exhibition opening night at the Wayne State University gallery. For this special occasion which honored art, time and survivorship, I wore the StyleEsteem “Sweetheart” couture turban, and accented it with a gold vintage watch brooch. I found this brooch during one of my numerous trips to the Hudson Valley, where the water vistas draw me in as much as the vintage boutiques do. When I found this brooch I immediately connected with it. It couldn’t have been an coincidence, at a time when I love my life more than ever, that I found this brooch which so perfectly expresses that through my wardrobe.

My Pashmina label dress was the same one I wore on the day of my head shaving appointment during chemotherapy five years ago. I simply loved the how the volume of the neckline went toe to toe with the volume of the turban. And I was looking forward to writing the next happy chapter in this dress’s story. Finally, for jewels I wore the first pair of gold jhumkas my mother bought after moving to the United States, just before I was born, as well as some of my favorite Tiffany & Co. pieces from my personal collection.


Watch our Detroit movie on YouTube for the beautiful outfit details and the artwork reveal. 

Apply to be a Twist Out Cancer Inspiration or Artist here.

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