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9:58 AM Sat, Nov. 17th

Prescott artists rally around stricken comrade

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br>
Patrons look at some of the donated artwork being sold during a benefit show for Cindy Myers at Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery on Montezuma Street in Prescott. The show runs through March 20.

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br> Patrons look at some of the donated artwork being sold during a benefit show for Cindy Myers at Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery on Montezuma Street in Prescott. The show runs through March 20.

Prescott's arts community has embraced one of its own to help with medical costs in her battle with cancer.

Cindy Myers, acclaimed for her glassblowing talent, was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer in December and now faces mounting medical costs for the treatment she is undergoing.

Fellow artists have rallied and have planned several benefits for Myers, which kicked off with a month-long fundraiser at Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery, 134 S. Montezuma St., in Prescott in February. Arts Prescott's phone number is 776-7717.

The next will be a "Glassblowing Extravaganza" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at Antonius Glass Studios, 2118 Old Kettle Drive in Prescott.

Glassblower Jim Antonius met Myers 20 years ago when she was a teaching assistant in a glassblowing class at Yavapai College.

"She brought me way along. She was teaching everybody back then. She is a great lady," Antonius said of his long-time friend.

His studio will have a donation box at the entrance for people to make contributions directly to the Cindy Myers Treatment Fund, he said, and glassblowers Jordan Ford, Vanessa Tamarin, Dave Klein, as well as Antonius, will demonstrate their art throughout the day.

All work within the studio gallery will be priced at wholesale costs, with a "vast majority" of proceeds going to Myers as a gesture of "anything we can do to help Cindy," Antonius said. For more information about the fundraiser, call Antonius as 445-0905.

'Tis Art Center and Gallery, where Myers has been gallery manager and assistant curator, plans a benefit art show from March 21 to April 3, with an opening reception on Friday, March 22, during the 4th Friday Art Walk. Proceeds will go toward Myers healthcare costs.

Then, from 4 to 6 p.m. on March 23, 'Tis will host a benefit party for Myers in the third floor banquet hall. The event will feature complimentary food and beverages. Guests are welcome to make a $20 donation to Myers at the door.

Another highlight of the benefit will be live music by band W.P.A., comprised of Warren Miller, Phil Dixon and Alison Dixon, along with and Jan Alexander. 'Tis is located at 105 S. Cortez in Prescott. For more information, call 775-0223.

Myers has been a strong influence in the local art world beyond her glassblowing talent for much of the 32 years she has lived here. She was one of the founding members of Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery 19 years ago.

Another founding member artist, Linne Thomas, has known Myers since that time and says, "Probably any glassblower in town learned from her."

Thomas also said of Myers that "anything she's tried - glassblowing, painting and rug making - she has been excellent. She is really a talented woman."

As a person, "Cindy is one of those exceptional people. She has no personal agenda. I've learned so much from her," Thomas said. "She has wonderful red hair, freckles and a face that makes you smile."

Thomas said that sales from art set aside for the Prescott Arts Cooperative Gallery's benefit for Myers includes glass, paintings, photos, jewelry, pottery and woven items. Pieces left over from the gallery's benefit will go to the Antonius studio and 'Tis for their fundraisers.

Patti Ortiz, a Prescott artist who is also marketing and special programs director for 'Tis, is a close friend of Myers and describes her relationship with Myers as "a lovely balance."

"I have grandiose ideas," Ortiz said. "Cindy is good at holding me back. She is like a lioness when something annoys her. I come in and help temper her. We both stay out of trouble that way," she laughed.

"It's wonderful the way the community has come together to help her out. I love her very much. The energy everybody is putting into this is making a difference."

Myers, 62, said she had a colonoscopy Dec. 16 and "When I woke up," she learned she had colorectal cancer. When a biopsy came back, she found out the cancer had metastized to her liver. Doctors told her they could shrink the colorectal tumor to some extent, but her condition was not operable and not curable, she said.

Myers has catastrophic insurance, but fundraisers will help cover costs of chemotherapy treatments at Mayo Clinic.

"I don't want to leave my husband bankrupt," she said of spouse Michael, who is a sculptor. "This is going to cost a lot of money."

Myers said she is grateful for the support she is getting from the friends she has in Prescott.

"I just appreciate all that people are trying to do for me and are doing for me," she said.

A site has been set up for Myers at YouCaring.com. The search words are Cindy's HealthCare Fund.