September 27, 2011
Eden Rockwell, 4, perches on a chair and stares straight ahead as artist Cindi Rose creates a silhouette of the child’s face with surgical scissors and a blank sheet of black paper.
For a $40 donation to her Rose Ribbon Foundation, the Houston woman clips Eden’s paper profile in 40 seconds and, in the process, helps fund reconstructive surgery for uninsured breast cancer survivors.
Eden’s mother, Allison, 34, of nearby Pearland (pop. 37,640), marvels at the silhouette’s striking resemblance to her daughter, complete with eyelashes, curls and hair ribbon.
“A good silhouette should be more than a shadow,” says Rose, 61, while snipping facial profiles during a benefit last October at Bering’s store in Houston Texas. “It should capture the person’s personality.”
Cindi Rose has created hundreds of thousands of paper profiles, including those of Elvis Presley and Queen Elizabeth, since landing her first job at age 16 as a silhouette artist at AstroWorld amusement park in Houston.
Just as impressive as her instant portraits is Rose’s concern for others. In 2005, she founded the Rose Ribbon Foundation with her husband, Dr. Franklin Rose, a plastic surgeon, to provide free reconstructive surgery to uninsured breast cancer survivors. Her silhouettes have raised more than $200,000 for the charity.
She created the foundation to honor her sister, Holly Harwood Skolkin, 58, of Houston, who was diagnosed in 1997 with advanced-stage breast cancer. That desire to feel and look normal is shared by breast-cancer survivor Pat McCaffety, 56, of Hempstead, Texas (pop. 4,691). For three years, she lived with scars from a double mastectomy.
“It was a daily reminder that I had cancer,” McCaffety says. “I was very self-conscious.”
McCaffety didn’t have medical insurance and never imagined that she could afford reconstructive breast surgery. Then a friend suggested she contact the Rose Ribbon Foundation. In May 2010, McCaffety underwent reconstructive surgery, and it didn’t cost her a penny.
McCaffety is one of 80 patients to benefit from free surgeries provided by the Rose Ribbon Foundation. Reconstruction often requires multiple surgeries and can cost from $70,000 to $100,000, says Dr. Rose, 58, who donates his time and skills to the foundation.
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Cindi, a third generation fine artist, has done silhouettes over 35 years, and is considered the world’s fastest premier silhouette artist. You can view her write-up in the Guild of American Papercutters, or in American Profile Magazine, where Cindi Harwood Rose was chosen as an American hero, for her silhouettes for cancer survivors, which can be ordered on-line from CindiSilhouettes@gmail.com. For more information and booking information please visit silhouettesbycindi.com.