The P.E.O. Record July-August 2022 (public)

COVER | story

“The Last Stitch” oil on canvas

“prairie fire i by chase lake” pastel on paper

“rooster” pastel on panel

P.E.O. Marcia Streepy Faces Mortality, Completes Her Painting Oeuvre Last Stitch The

by Peggy Graham, FL, Olathe, Kansas, and Melanie Werner

“Every day I have something to do related to art.” Every day, Marcia either paints with other artists on Zoom or goes into her studio at InterUrban ArtHouse, a creative cooperative space for artists. At home, she has a sunny window in her living room with a desk for her paints and papers. Marcia says, “I am so grateful that my daughter set up a watercolor station where I can come in and play.” Art is more than therapy and joy for Marcia—it’s a business, and she is busy labeling, framing and pricing pieces for her upcoming show. She has a basement studio in her home with what she calls an “overwhelming” number of pieces. Because of her ALS, Marcia’s handwriting has deteriorated; she’s able to continue creating artwork through the use of a brace on her right hand and a neck brace, which allows her to keep her head upright and breathe more readily. She has adapted to physical limitations by using innovative tools like a trowel to push paint around a large canvas. Marcia started painting as a child with her mother, a regional artist in western Kansas. She also liked to sew, experimenting with fashion and creating her own clothes. Wanting a stable career, however, Marcia put art aside as a profession and became a nurse working in hospitals,

arcia Streepy, FL, Olathe, Kansas, created her oil painting “The Last Stitch” for her 2015 one-woman art show featuring women and

fashion. It depicts two girls putting last- minute finishes to their prom dresses, an image she captured from a 1940s photo.

The painting is a metaphor for Marcia’s own life. She currently spends her days working with what energy she has left to finish new works and curate 30 years of previous oil, watercolor and pastel paintings for an exhibition in late May 2022 at the InterUrban ArtHouse, Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City. “I have an urgency to get things done,” Marcia said. Things are urgent for Marcia because the 69-year-old artist received a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in November 2020. Because of her declining health, Marcia is no longer teaching art classes, which she did for several years, but she does plan to keep painting and mentoring other painters. She says, “My goal is to have a good attitude and continue to support people.”


THE P.E.O. RECORD | July–August 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

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