Art is a powerful tool for self-expression, self-reflection, communication, stress reduction, and healing. Gay Walker is an artist, art therapist, and retired Professor and Coordinator of Holistic Health and Wellness at Western Michigan University. She taught classes in expressive arts, illness/end of life, and holistic methods at WMU. She has focused on using art therapy with people who have illnesses, including hospice patients and their families dealing with grief and loss, children and adults with cancer, people with Alzheimer’s Disease, and people with disabilities.
Walker will be joined by Jim Carter, a retired Internal Medicine Physician from Kalamazoo and an active member of the art community as a KIA student, KIA docent, and photographer. Carter trained at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and learned the holistic approach to patient care that exemplifies Mayo’s reputation as a world-class medical facility. Part of that holistic approach uses art and other nontraditional therapies. They both have extensive experience in using art as a healing modality and have exhibited their work. Carter will discuss the science of stress reduction using art and the proven benefits of art in healing. Walker will share images, examples of art therapy, and her experiences with children and adults. Walker and Carter will also discuss their use of art in their personal life journey.