Glen Oaks Community College

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Painting Title: Dottie's Light

Glen Oaks Visiting Artist Program to Feature Gay Walker

Glen Oaks Community College announces Gay Walker will be featured as part of the 2024 Visiting Artist Program. Renowned as an artist, expressive art therapist, and three-time cancer survivor, Gay brings a unique and deeply personal perspective to her exhibition, “The Art of Healing: My Journey.”

Reception, Public Lecture, and Class Activities – Wednesday, February 7
The public is invited to attend the grand opening reception on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at 5:00 PM on the grand concourse at Glen Oaks. As part of the Visiting Artist program, Gay will also offer a public lecture, following the reception, at 6:00 PM, which will then be followed by class activities from 7:15 PM to 9:00 PM.

Student Class
In addition, On January 23, 2024, Walker will conduct a luncheon class tailored for Nursing and Allied Health students at the Glen Oaks Community College Art Studio, offering a unique opportunity for students to explore the intersection of art and healing.

Walker, began her journey at KCMS/Bronson Pediatric Oncology, helping children express their cancer experiences through art. Over the years, she curated impactful exhibits like “The Art of Healing,” showcasing art and poetry from those touched by cancer, emphasizing the therapeutic potential of art in processing emotions. Diagnosed with breast and uterine cancer in 1998, Walker turned to creative journaling, transitioning from non-rhyming poems to raw artwork, creating a personal outlet. As a Program Coordinator at Western Michigan University, she challenged societal norms by exhibiting unconventional art, demonstrating the power of healing through visual art. Retired since 2017, Walker continues to share her healing techniques through workshops, classes, and cancer retreats with Chrysalis Community, her non-profit cancer program.

About the Visiting Artist Program  
Flora Kirsch Beck was an avid artist, a generous philanthropist, and a beloved member of the Glen Oaks and Sturgis communities. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she moved to Sturgis following her marriage in 1924 to Guy W. Kirsch, son of Kirsch Company co-founder, C. W. Kirsch. She believed in the importance of the arts in education and served on the boards of many institutions, among them the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation, Alma College, and the Sturges-Young Auditorium. At Glen Oaks, her support made possible the establishment of a fund that supports an annual exhibition by a nationally known artist. In 2019, the college opened the Flora Kirsch Beck Art Gallery as a tribute to her and her passion for the arts and education.