COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Wearing a crown-like headpiece and declaring herself “older than dirt,” a Colorado Springs-area artist has celebrated her 102nd birthday at the gallery she helped found.

The Gazette reported that Sunday’s reception for Marian Busey at Arati Artists Gallery drew a stream of well-wishers, including her only child, Philip Busey, an agronomist and University of Florida professor emeritus.

“I can’t believe how many people have come to the gallery today,” Marian Busey told The Gazette. “It makes me feel so good that they all care about me … maybe it’s because I’m so old!”

Busey trained at Ohio State and taught art in Ohio’s public schools during the Depression. She moved to Boulder with her husband, a University of Colorado professor, in 1952 and Colorado landscapes became a favorite subject of her art. The couple moved to the Colorado Springs area when Jim Busey, who died in 2007, retired in 1965.

Busey co-founded Arati in 1977 and now is the only original member.

“The gallery is very good for me, and I may not have lasted this long if it weren’t for the gallery,” she said. “It’s a thing that’s stimulating and interesting that I have to participate in. It makes me happy.”

Busey specialized in water colors and in 1986 was among the founders of the Pikes Peak Water Color Society.

“With watercolors, once you put the brush on the canvass, you’re done quickly, you can’t complicate the painting,” she said.

In recent years, as her eyesight weakened, she switched to hand-pulled print making.

LINK: Arati Artists Gallery

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