Local artist Charles Moore may be a familiar face around the Topeka Presbyterian Manor, but not for the same reasons he was known around here from 1979 through 1981.
“I was the administrator here and was responsible for the day-to-day operations and delivery of health care for those individuals living in the nursing wing as well as those in independent living,” said Charles. “What I learned from my experience with PMMA was the importance of the network and camaraderie I would build with other administrators as a valuable tool in forming my management style for the administration of adult care homes and continuing care retirement communities.”
Charles had a long and successful career at various senior living communities. He most recently served as the director of health facilities and survey support at the Bureau of Child Care and Health Facilities with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Now, Charles is well known around here for his artistic talent and the multiple prizes he’s taken home from our Art is Ageless juried art competition. He’s now a professional artist and is the resident artist for the Topeka Zoological Park.
So how did Charles make the change from a career serving others in the adult care community to a career delighting others with the arts?
“My last office with the state in the Curtis Building at 10th and Kansas faced a mural being designed and painted by a group of elementary school children. I remember thinking over that summer that surely this is something I could do if given the opportunity with a local business,” he said. “Mose Hugghis with K9 OTC gave me such an opportunity upon my retirement to paint a mural for his business (which trains dogs for law enforcement).
I recall thinking later that it was something like jumping in the deep end of a pool before knowing how to swim. But swim with my paintbrush and cans of paint I did.”
This partnership later led to Charles gaining access to the Topeka Zoological Park to complete a series of murals in their Gary Clarke Education Center.
“From that point, one could say the rest is history,” said Charles. “Since that first mural in downtown Topeka I have gone on to complete at least one to two murals a year for the zoo, one mural for the city of Perry, and a variety of other artistic endeavors.”
Charles thoroughly enjoys his newfound career, and takes great delight in the variety of different works he creates.
“My mediums now consists of everything from murals as large as 2,000-plus square feet in size, to small drawings and acrylic paintings (usually of animals), to photo boards, to altered book creations, and even a face-painting endeavor that has netted over $6,000 in contributions to the conservation fund for the protection of endangered species.”
We’re grateful Charles has shared his artwork with us, and we congratulate him for taking home three prizes from the most recent Art is Ageless® event.
“I am always on the outlook for events that I can share my work with others, and I felt an event specifically for those over age 65 and from an organization I had previous experience with was the perfect opportunity,” said Charles. “I spotted the ad in a newspaper while filling in as a guest teacher for one of the art teachers at Washburn Rural High School. What a perfect opportunity!”