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Living promoted in art

Dr. Mark Shoemaker and his wife, Dr. Joyce Shoemaker, submitted some of their work to the “Art of Health and Healing” exhibit currently at the Albany Museum of Art. Mark Shoemaker’s piece was a painting of a pine barren view with a bike trial running through it.

Dr. Mark Shoemaker and his wife, Dr. Joyce Shoemaker, submitted some of their work to the “Art of Health and Healing” exhibit currently at the Albany Museum of Art. Mark Shoemaker’s piece was a painting of a pine barren view with a bike trial running through it.

ALBANY — Being supporters of the Albany Museum of Art, a husband and wife, both doctors, found a way to perhaps support the museum and promote healthy living at the same time.

Drs. Mark and Joyce Shoemaker submitted some of their work to the “Art of Health and Healing” exhibit ongoing at the museum through Friday.

“I had heard it was gonna happen and we had always been supporters of the museum, and we thought it would be an interesting twist to put it out there and see what was out there to see,” said Mark Shoemaker, an anesthesiologist.

Mark Shoemaker is a drawer and a painter, while his wife takes photos.

The photos Joyce Shoemaker submitted were from a trip the couple had taken to Turkey. A separate set of her photographs were used as inspiration for her husband’s painting, which is of a pine barren background with a bike trail running through it.

The background was inspired by the photographs while the bike trail itself was, in part, his own way of promoting healthy living. He considers the work be among his most detailed paintings.

“I love to ride bicycles, and I have friends totally possessed with riding bikes,” Mark Shoemaker said. “There are a couple of my friends painted in the picture just for the fun of it.”

In the course of creating his works, the anesthesiologist is reminded of the Bible, particularly the book of Genesis.

“We were created in God’s image, and I think that means that we are meant to create,” he said. “Some people express it in different ways.

“It is part of our natural make up. I paint and draw and that scratches that itch a bit. It’s got its own satisfaction.”

Joyce Shoemaker, a pediatrician, makes a habit of taking a camera with her on vacations and functions she is a part of. The submitted photos were focused primarily on her time on the boat while in Turkey.

“I have no talent in art, but I like it,” she said. “I have friends who are artists, and my husband is an artist, so I was inspired.”

In his youth, Mark Shoemaker said that drawing was a way of discharging some of his extra energy.

“I’ve done it as long as I can remember,” he said. “I’ve done drawings of plans for things I am going to build. I would draw things I was thinking of making.”

Through this, he developed an interest in carpentry and actually built a few of the furniture pieces currently in his home.

While he has done a number of paintings in his day, Mark Shoemaker mostly concentrates on line drawings. He is working on a mountain scene painting now, also inspired by a photo his wife took.

He said his take on art is what the creator makes of it.

“Art by its nature is what you see through the filters of your brain, and you provide your sense of creation,” he said. “I look at art, and I’m amazed at what people are thinking.

“I think that’s what stimulates me the most.”

The process of thinking through the concept of creation seems to be what he appreciates above all else.

“That’s the part I like, the humanity of it — of an individual who has poured himself onto a canvas,” Mark Shoemaker said.

In the end, both Shoemakers are hopeful, at least through seeing their works, that the exhibit somehow helps enlighten people — particularly with the bike trail painting.

“Both Joyce and I are medical people, and medical people have a different life,” Mark Shoemaker said. “We work hard and do things most people would run from. Most people use medical help, and a lot of times, the circumstances are stressful.

“My painting is about a healthy attitude. Just a limited amount of exercise will change you. I would love for the health of the community to be brought forward (through the exhibit). It’s not just Albany that’s got this problem.”

The exhibit, sponsored through Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s centennial celebration, is open through Friday.