By Lisa Voyles
HOUSTON – Residents at Floy Dyer Manor Extended Care in Houston will have a new piece of artwork to enjoy.
A painting of an angel is now hanging in the entryway thanks to a partnership between John and Peggy Walden and Candace Stephenson.
Stephenson created the artwork at the T.K. Martin Center for Technology at Mississippi State University and displayed it during the MSU/Chickasaw County Extenion’s Art in the Park event in Houston in 2012. It was purchased by John and Peggy Walden, who are affiliated with the Extension office through the Master Gardener’s program.
The Waldens donated the painting to the nursing facility Oct. 22 during this year’s Art in the Park event with Stephenson on hand for the presentation.
“We want to donate this piece of art to the hospital on behalf of the Master Gardeners,” John Walden said. “The significance is that even though someone may have disabilities, what gives all of us our abilities is hope. And Candace is a great example of that.”
Stephenson has cerebral palsy and has been involved with the T.K. Martin Center which assists people with disabilities in creating art and displaying it for sale.
The angel painting, titled “Sweet Spirit,” is just one of her creations.
“My mom brings me once a month to art and I never really have a mind set,” Stephenson said. “(I use) all different techniques and supplies to do angels and bright colors, bubbly.”
Stephenson said her time at the T.K. Martin Center is a stress reducer.
“We all live such structured lives and you have to,” Stephenson said. “When I’m there for a couple of hours, I don’t have to.”
Stephenson received her bachelor’s degree in Education and her master’s degree in French, both from MSU and stays involved with the Center and campus.
“T.K. Martin is like a second family,” Stephenson said. “It’s my second home. I worked there while I was in school and now I just hang around. They can’t get rid of me.”
Judy Duncan, coordinator for the Art in the Park event said it’s not an issue.
“We can’t get rid of her and we don’t want to,” Duncan laughed.
Linda Boutwell, Director of Floy Dyer, received the donated painting with thanks.
“A lot of people come to our facility for rehab and this will give them inspiration,” Boutwell said.