Artist creates work for area care center

GREEN SPRINGS – In recent months, more than than two dozen paintings have appeared at the west campus of Elmwood Health Care Center in Green Springs. Most of the pieces are original paintings by local artist Judy Downey. Her daughter, Kathy Hunt, is the owner and CEO of Elmwood Communities.

A member of the Tiffin Art Guild, Downey has taught classes and participated in TAG art shows. She is a frequent customer at Hobby Lobby in Findlay. Last Christmas, the store’s frame shop, headed by Stephen Stevens, framed 59 pictures Downey had completed.

“They’re very good to me over there,” she said. “Stephen has been in the frame shop three or four years. He is so good I don’t even need to pick out mattes or frames. He just knows what I like. … I just drop it off and they figure it all out.”

In addition, Downey has purchased discounted posters, paper goods, wall decor and other items from the store over the years to use in her home, her classes or at the health care facilities. Some of the posters inspired theme ideas for the art in Green Springs. Because Hobby Lobby is closed Sundays, Downey invited employees to come to Green Springs for a tour on a Sunday in August.

“This all came about because the clerks … said, ‘You buy all this stuff and we never get to see it up,'” she said.

Stevens, the store manager and two other people from the shop accepted the invitation and stayed for about two hours. Downey said she did about 30 paintings for Elmwood at the Springs. All but three of them are giclees that Mark Levans has made from her original art works. The giclees can be enlarged or reduced and applied to canvas, paper, metal and many other surfaces.

“I take him my original paintings and then he makes giclees for me. Those are computer-image prints of the original,” Downey said. “Mark will put them on anything I want them on.”

In addition to Levans, Downey said Cheryl Hohman of Frameworks also contributed expertise to the decorating project, and Gary Kinn chose paint colors for the various walls in the 229,000-square-foot building.

Downey said her next “assignment” from Hunt is art for the long hall from the executive office to the cafeteria. The art is to focus on human and animal mothers and babies.

With the expansion of Elmwood in Fremont, Hunt has requested about 300 paintings in a Lake Erie/fish theme for the new wing. Downey has been gathering ideas and materials for that project.

She also designs themed Christmas trees, many of which are done with marked-down merchandise.

The website www.judydowneyart.

com has numerous examples of Downey’s work along with descriptions and other information.