WMU Home > WMU News >

WMU News

Professor shares art she created while facing illness

Jan. 27, 2009

KALAMAZOO--A multi-media art exhibit inspired by a battle with cancer opens on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at the Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services.

An opening reception for the exhibit, "Art of Healing, Journey through Cancer," will be from 4 to 6 p.m. in the college's second floor art gallery. The exhibit includes art, poetry and expressions that were part of Gay Walker's process of healing from breast cancer.

Walker is program coordinator for the college's Holistic Health Care Program and teaches about complementary and alternative techniques of healing through such courses as Introduction to Expressive Arts, Healing Through Visual Art, and Holistic Strategies for Illness and End of Life. She also works with other organizations as an art therapist.

"The art is not so much about the product as the process of therapeutic expression and releasing emotions," Walker says. "The pieces in this exhibit were originally not meant to be shown, but were done as a part of a personal healing process."

Though the subject of the exhibit is serious and sobering, the art is certainly not dark. It comes to life through Walker's use of multiple media and materials--watercolor and acrylic paint, plaster, glass, mirrors, rock and fabric--in sculptures and collages. Each piece is accompanied by a brief narrative.

As a further step in her healing, the artist has helped heal others by exhibiting her work in hospitals and cancer centers over the past four years. The works have touched people with cancer and helped others understand the emotions their loved ones are experiencing.

The exhibit will run throughout the spring semester and is intended to be educational, exposing students, faculty, staff and community members to art therapy, a powerful form of healing. The artist is available to provide narrated tours of the exhibit for classes and groups. Walker may be contact her at (269) 387-3839 or gay.walker@wmich.edu.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400