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Purchase Student Michelle MacNaught, 21, Dies

HARRISON, N.Y. - Michelle MacNaught, a 21-year-old Purchase College student, died Sunday after a years-long battle with stage IV ovarian cancer.

"Michelle was a gifted student whose dedication to her studio work in the midst of illness was of great inspiration to all who knew her," Purchase College said in a statement. "Over the past months, she poured her energy into mature, hauntingly beautiful and emotionally evocative woodblock prints, etchings and drawings that chronicled her difficulty with the disease."

MacNaught was honored last week in a New York City art exhibition, which displayed her works throughout her life.

Leo Koenig and his wife Maggie Clinton, who represent some of the best-known emerging and mid-career contemporary artists, arranged a showcase of MacNaught's work in a special exhibition on view from Nov. 15 to 17 at the Leo Koenig Gallery. A catalog of her work, with a foreword by New Yorker critic Peter Schjeldahl, and put together by fashion photographer Tom Munro and designer Pascal Dangin, is available from Distributed Art Publishers.

Most of the works were sold with proceeds going to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for ovarian cancer research.

"Rather than see a therapist, I cope with my cancer and talk about my emotions and struggles through my work," MacNaught explained of the series before her death. "It not only helps me sort out and 'heal' certain things that I am struggling with, it also becomes a channel for me to explain to others how I am handling the situation"

Memorial services will be held at Delhi Alliance Church, 16178 State Hwy 28, Delhi, N.Y. 13753. A viewing will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday Nov. 23, 2011 at 11 a.m.

Michelle's family asks that donations be made in Michelle's name to:

Catskills Area Hospice and Palliative Care Birchwood DriveOneonta, NY 13820Phone: 607- 432-5525

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