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Christi Coyote: Painting Through Opening Reception

August 31, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Open August 31 – September 24.

Art Gym Gallery is excited to present, “Painting Through, an exhibition of new work from Christi Coyote with support from Nancy Franke and Janet Woelfle. Please join us and the artist for an opening reception on Thursday August 31 from 6-9PM. Thank you to Ratio Beerworks for providing beer for this event!

“Christi Coyote, a name she adopted after a stroke, and I have been painting since 2019. I took over for Nancy Franke who had been painting with her for around 10 years. Christi hopes to convey both her feeling of accomplishment and her frustrations as a stroke survivor and artist. I have never laughed so much as we end up laughing when painting together. Hard to paint and laugh at the same time though. I do appreciate her subtle, sometimes raunchy sense of humor and the way she has used humor to evolve a patience with herself and what is happening around her. I am her right-hand painting partner. We share one canvas and divide it into two sides. She does an amazing job using her left hand, even when she is completing those difficult straight and circular lines, shaky hand and all. Resulting from the stroke, she has had to make decisions. She decided to re-learn how to do almost everything, including painting. “It is hard!” she said. Christi didn’t think she could return to painting, but friends, one in particular, said, “I will teach you.” They would not take “can’t” for an answer. Sometimes Christi will experience acute, disheartening emotions when trying to communicate her thoughts, epiphanies, histories and understandings of the world she inhabits now. I for one and probably lots more of us, am so glad she is here and painting in our world, now!” – Janet Woelfle

As a young woman in her 30s, Christi Coyote had no prior art training when she happened to meet a professional landscape artist named Lee McGowan doing a painting demonstration in front of her gallery. Watching Lee paint, Christi arranged to take private painting instructions from Lee, and she also began to paint on her own, making copies of paintings in art instruction books. She learned quickly and painted prolifically, gifting her paintings to friends and family. Then in her forties Christi suffered a devastating stroke, which left her with right side paralysis, cognitive deficits that took away her ability to read and write, and Aphasia (difficulty forming and understanding words). Prior to her stroke Christi led an active lifestyle that included skiing, horseback riding, hiking, and travel. As a result of her right-side paralysis Christi relies on a crutch and is limited in her activities. Christi began working with Nancy Franke, an art therapist, in 2009, with the goal of relearning to paint. This entailed learning to paint with her non-dominant hand, relearning the most basic steps, and over coming fear that she might never paint again. She persevered and made numerous paintings of her own, regaining confidence. During the next few years Christi experienced numerous personal losses and health setbacks. The goal during these difficult times was to keep her painting. Together Nancy and Christi forged new ways to work. Christi found that she particularly enjoyed making collaborative paintings using photos and paintings found on line. Working side by side on the same canvas, Nancy and Christi divided the painting, with Christi in charge of the left side of the painting and Nancy on the right. The painting wasn’t finished until both agreed it was done and each one signed her initials.


August 31, 2023
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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