German Village Gazette

Artist hopes emotion comes through in exhibit

By ThisWeek Community News  • 
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Artwork such as this by Walter King will be in his exhibit, Changing Landscapes/Transitional Process, on display from Sunday, Feb. 23, through March 22 in the German Village Meeting Haus.

Walter King rode his bike to work one morning. Later that night, he was in a wheelchair.

His experience, suffering from transverse myelitis, underscores his latest art exhibit, Changing Landscapes/Transitional Process, at the German Village Meeting Haus.

An artist's reception, to be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 23, will kick off the exhibit, which will be on display through March 22.

King, who has a 40-year career as an artist, said the German Village exhibit will feature roughly 40 pieces, all watercolor. Most were painted in Ohio.

A professor at Columbus College of Art and Design, King said he was a world-traveler, putting himself in precarious positions for his work.

But that all changed three years ago when he was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, an autoimmune disorder. His neurologist told him it likely was a rare reaction to a tetanus shot.

The condition put him in a wheelchair for seven months. Since then, King has gained back some mobility, but fatigue keeps him from doing tasks that were common before his illness.

"It has a very bizarre effect on you mentally and physically," he said. "I just lost my energy to do that other work."

King still teaches full time at CCAD, of which he also is a graduate, and paints in watercolor, a medium his physical condition allows.

"The watercolors are something I've always done, but I did it when I traveled so I could keep my hand in it when I was out and about," he said.

King, 61, said he hopes his emotion comes through in the various paintings.

"When you're painting a landscape and you're there on site, there's an emotional appeal to it," he said. "There's a beauty of being there."

He finds comfort in art, something he can't pursue as fervently as he has in the past.

"Art's therapeutic. Writing's therapeutic," King said.

"I'm trying to continue the arc of my career I started a long time ago."

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