Artwork for the ages

Seniors show their stuff for August ArtWalk

Tyler Hansen

Special to the Times


Outside of Joan Kovach’s door at Gunnison Valley Health’s (GVH) Assisted Living facility are two pieces of art hanging on the wall. One, a realistic charcoal still life, the darks and lights working together to create shadow and light. The second, a pastel of a bundle of irises, the color almost bursting from the page.

More than simply taking up space on an empty wall, they are a reflection of Joan’s past. They are her story of 50 years dedicated to a craft.

When GVH Life Enrichment Director Katy Walck saw Joan’s artwork, she immediately knew others would want to see it as well.

“Upon viewing these pieces it occurred to me that they should be seen by the community, they are so good,” she said. “When I started talking to Joan, I found out about her long history creating in watercolor, acrylic and even painted rocks.”

As Walck considered how to get the community to see Kovach’s work, she started thinking about the other residents in Assisted Living and discovered that there were many who had something to share. From intricate puzzles to fine needlepoint to finely detailed painted plates, the residents of GVH’s senior living facilities are a treasure trove of artistic talent.

Which is why Kovach and Walck came up with the idea of curating a show as part of Gunnison’s First Fridays ArtWalk series. On Friday, Aug. 4 from 5-7 p.m., artwork from Assisted Living and Senior Care Center residents and their families will be on full display at the Senior Care Center.

“Our goal with the show is to foster understanding of the value that our seniors have in our community. They are vibrant and talented and should be recognized for all they bring to our community, they are not simply sitting around idle,” says Walck. “There is so much talent and so much history to some of these pieces.”

The show will feature work from several residents and their family members, including nature photography from Don Calkins, acrylic painting from Pat Dorsey and Elena Garcia, and Graham Witherspoon’s paintings and prose highlighting his career as a captain of a naval vessel. There is also a beautiful display of Ricky Glatiotis’ Special Olympics Medals created by his niece Heather and much more. The work is varied and diverse, but every piece carries a unique story, a unique bit of history from each artist.

The residents of the Senior Care Center and Assisted Living invite the public to join them for the ArtWalk at 1500 W. Tomichi Avenue. Light refreshments will be served.


Gunnison Country Times

218 N. Wisconsin Street
Gunnison, CO 81230
Phone: 970-641-1414