Local artist selected to showcase talent at new RGH wellness center

Courtesy photo Local artist Casey McCoy has been selected to showcase his talent as a drywall artist in the new Rio Grande Hospital wellness center.

DEL NORTE — Rio Grande Hospital recently announced that it had selected a local artist to add a touch of artistic flair to the new wellness center for its grand opening this summer.

Artist Casey McCoy grew up in the Alamosa area and knew from a young age that he was destined to be an artist.

“I was always drawn to art. Whether it was painting, sketching, or working on digital artwork, I was just always happier when I was working on something,” said McCoy.

In his earlier years, his passion for art almost cost him, but as he grew older, he realized he could pursue his passion and make a living while doing it.

“I almost didn’t graduate high school. I spent more time drawing than I did schoolwork. So, after some of my previous jobs, I decided to try and pursue my art full-time,” he said.

McCoy’s mother was the person who turned him toward his current medium after seeing an artist work with dry wall on Pinterest.

“My mom came to me one day and said I needed to see this artist on Pinterest and after watching him work, I knew that this was the type of art I wanted to do,” he said.

McCoy began picking up jobs working with drywall to create his drywall art and after a rough first year, began his artistic career.

“I had a rough first year and learned a lot of first lessons. Now, I can do what I love and support my family at the same time,” McCoy said.

McCoy was contacted by Rio Grande Hospital and commissioned to work on a piece for the new wellness center and while coming up with ideas for his art, he became more aware of how important health and wellness is for everyone.

“I hope someday I can share what it is like for me to look at a blank wall and just see what wants to come out of the drywall. My imagination takes off and while working with Rio Grande Hospital CEO Arlene Harms, I began to see how I could capture the openness of health and wellbeing. I am thrilled and honored to be part of what this center represents,” he said.

Harms shared her vision of the wellness center with McCoy and how it was based on “Blue Zones” the epitome of longer living.

“There are healthy lifestyle choices like eating better, exercise and movement, and belonging to a tribe,” he said. “Let's take a minute and just look at what it means to belong to a tribe. We don't think about how important it is to belong. Finding your own group of people that are your support group throughout this life. Not saying being alone is a bad thing, but being alone for long periods of time can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. How important it is to be a part of something where you can share goals, achievements, or issues you're facing, and have the support group cheering you and help problem solve. Since starting my small business, I've developed my own support group, and they are just as much of this dream job as I am.”

As McCoy’s vision began to take hold, he used his experience in life to help mold the finished piece.

“I'm a man of faith and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This church has over 300 temples, some that are built, and some announced for building. I've only been to three of them, but inside this wonderful craftsmanship is beautiful artwork and symbolism. So, with my project for Arlene and this wellness center, I wanted to replicate that same beautiful art style and symbolism. To tell a bigger story than what's just seen,” he said.

Viewers will notice when they first look at the wall, there will be a young woman meditating in a yoga exercise. However, unlike the traditional yoga meditation pose, where the hands are closed or face down on her lap, McCoy had her head look upward with her hands open. He initially made this change because he wanted to show the symbolism that this young lady is being open and ready to receive inspiration, revelation, guidance, direction, and change.

This little gesture has a big meaning behind it. McCoy has placed all sorts of symbolisms throughout this art piece, and he thinks it will be interesting to see what viewers will notice the first time, second time, or third time seeing his finished work.

“I am putting my whole heart into this, and I'm honored to be involved with this,” he said. “Part of the reason I go to my church is because of the good standards and life lessons it teaches and the tribe I have there. How great to be creating something special here. My only hope is that my art can spark inspiration into others or help them change or just feel the love that I've placed into this piece. I don't know who is going to view this project, but I do know I'm grateful to share my gifts and talents with others.”