On August 15th of this year, our community lost a tremendously talented and determined artist in Gary Edward Bachers. A beloved family physician, Gary survived a massive hemorrhagic stroke at age 38. This stroke resulted in expressive aphasia and the loss of all use of his right arm, but it also sparked a successful career as an artist for more than 36 years. In the wake of his stroke, he gained a new “voice” in art.
We first learned of Gary when he was nominated for our 2021 Mobile Art Award (now called the Gloria Bond Creative Aging Award). We present this award annually to artists ages 65 or older who exemplify our belief that engagement in the arts improves emotional well-being, supports good health, strengthens social bonds, and brings a heightened experience of purpose and joy
As we reviewed Gary’s nomination, we were deeply moved by his story, and we marveled at his vibrant and incredibly detailed wax pencil drawings. He embodied resilience, inventiveness, and grace. Naturally, Gary Bachers became our 2021 Mobile Art awardee—a recognition he wholeheartedly deserved.
We hope you will join us in remembering this remarkable, creative individual whose life expressed the miraculous healing power of the arts. The video below features Gary’s close friends and family discussing his work along with several of his drawings: