Nature and family hold sway in professor's art show

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Photo of a painting of a turtle.

Artwork by Gay Walker is on display through May 21.

KALAMAZOO—A master faculty specialist in the Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services has assembled her art into a show to honor her mother and nature.

Artist Gay Walker's exhibit "My Mother's Nature" will be on display in the College of Health and Human Services second floor art gallery through May 21, with an artist's reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 16. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public, with free parking available in Lot 104.

Gay Walker

Walker is an art therapist and coordinator of the Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness Program. Her mother, an accomplished fine artist who inspired and influenced her greatly, died in 2012 at age 98.

"During her life, Mom constantly guided my eyes to see and appreciate the beauty of nature," Walker says. "This exhibit honors her and Mother Nature, the master artist."

Although she is no longer here physically, Walker connects with her mother as if she is seeing through her eyes and perspective on nature. The work in the exhibit is colorful and covers themes of water, landscape and animals. A few of the paintings were done during the last week of her mother's life.

"I have painted many of her themes," Walker says, "almost like walking in her footsteps, and it has brought me closer to her and her way of seeing."

Walker holds a degree in holistic art therapy from Antioch University and a holistic health certificate from WMU. She earned a bachelor's degree in graphic design and advertising from Michigan State University. In addition to teaching at WMU since 1996, she has taught at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and the West Michigan Glass Arts Center. She also offers workshops, retreats and presentations related to healing and expressive arts.

About the exhibit

"My Mother's Nature" can be viewed by the public from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, excluding April 26 and May 3.

For more information, contact Gay Walker at (269) 387-3839 or gay.walker@wmich.edu.