CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado non-profit organization is helping to heal cancer patients through art. Sites and Insights in Centennial puts on six-week workshops with a unique curriculum involving color, creativity and psychology.

Under the direction of co-founder Vicki Mackie, cancer survivors, families and caregivers use sponges and Q-tips to fill canvas with color.


Mackie started the program in 2015 after her own battle with metastatic breast cancer. She walks participants through painting along with guided meditation and music.


Shalene Johnson, who has stage three melanoma, used red to release anger. She said that Mackie’s classes had taught her how to paint her emotions.

“She will pull out emotions I didn’t even know were there,” Johnson said with a laugh.

Mackie said that putting on the workshops helps her just as much as it helps others.

“There is nothing more gratifying than to see people motivated, hopeful, their lives changed,” Mackie told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.


“At the end of your painting, you feel better. You feel like ‘wow, I just let all that out and didn’t even know it was there.’ And then you feel happier,” Johnson said. “You go to the hospital to get cured. But you come here to heal.”

The classes are offered free of charge with the help of donations.


The organization will hold its next fundraiser in February.