Artist honors mother and nature

Painting of a turtle.Artist Gay Walker’s exhibit "My Mother’s Nature" will be on display in the Health and Human Services Building second floor art gallery through May 21, 2014, and an artist’s reception is scheduled for Wednesday, April 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public, with free parking available in Lot 104.

Walker is an art therapist and coordinator of the integrative holistic health and wellness program in the College of Health and Human Services. Her mother, an accomplished fine artist who inspired and influenced her greatly, died in 2012 at age 98.  Says Walker, "During her life, Mom constantly guided my eyes to see and appreciate the beauty of nature. 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," says Walker, "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 Western. She earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and advertising from Michigan State University. In addition to teaching at Western 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.

"My Mother’s Nature" can be viewed by the public Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding April 26 and May 3 and 24. For more information, contact Gay Walker at (269) 387-3839 or