It’s a wonderful thing when someone has both right brain and left brain capabilities and is able to use them both on a regular basis. Such is the case with Karye Wilhelm.
Karye grew up in Greeley but was lured to Tucson to go to school at the University of Arizona.
In college, Karye took a Semester at Sea and fell in love with the ocean – if only Colorado had one! After graduation, Karye moved to California and started in retail. She loved living in California and particularly enjoyed all the beaches from Malibu to Catalina, but retail is hard work and it’s hard to get holidays off.
Her father had started a heavy equipment rental company in Denver in 1981 and Karye came home to help out with keeping the books, customer service, payroll etc. This all came naturally to Karye and she excelled in this business.
Her sister in law was involved with Art Reach and specifically the Festival of Trees and her sister in law suggested that Karye get involved. And Karye did! Since then she has been actively involved with Art Reach. She co-chaired the Festival of Trees, she has sat on the Board, and served as President of the Board.
Karye was visiting her mother in Tucson several years ago. Her mother serves as a docent at the Tucson Museum of Art. The Museum had created a unique event where every other year they ask artists to submit a piece of art for the cause. Attendees of the event are given the opportunity to “run” for a piece of art work they favor. Karye was immediately struck with the concept and knew it would be a perfect fit for Art Reach.
The Art Reach Board agreed that this was a great idea and contacted the Tucson organization for ideas. From there the event was born in Denver in 2009. The event is gearing up for year 4. An added bonus, according to Karye, is the inclusion of the artists at the event. The guests have the opportunity to visit and get to know artists from a variety of mediums including print making, painting, jewelry , sculpture. If you appreciate art, you simply must attend “Dine and D’Art.” Wear your tennis shoes.
Art Reach recently received a grant for accounting functions and given her business background it was a natural for her to assist there. But Karye also combines right brain/left brain activity with one of her favorite activities: quilting. It’s creative but also involves math.
Karye is passionate about Art Reach and wants to stay involved and help raise their public profile. Many people don’t realize that Art Reach has a significant ticketing function where they are able to provide tickets to many cultural and artistic events from people that can’t use them. These tickets are also made available to veterans as well. Karye explains, “not all kids are into sports and Art Reach is able to provide an alternative and help stimulate some creativity, not only with our tickets but with our programs that work with school kids.”
What is the trait you most admire in others?
Kindness. It restores my faith in humanity when I witness kindness being shown to others.
What do you like to read?
I enjoy reading non-fiction particularly history. Most recently I enjoyed Laura Hildebrand's "The Unbroken."
Which living person do you most admire?
Nelson Mandela. I am in awe of this man and what he has done with his life and for his country.
What is your greatest extravagance or indulgence?
Traveling. I love to travel. So when I have the time and money I’ll pack my bags and go - it doesn’t really matter where. India was definitely a culture shock, but I'd love to go again.
What is your greatest trait?
Being able to laugh at myself – which happens more often than I’d like to admit.
What is the quality you most like in a person?
A really dark sense of humor. That cracks me up, and I enjoy being around anyone who can make me laugh.
When and where were you happiest?
I know I should answer “here and now”, but one of the happiest times in my life was when I sailed around the world on Semester-At-Sea my senior year of college. Not only did I get to see amazing countries and meet incredible people, but I fell in love with the ocean too. The experience changed the course of my life.
Who are your favorite public figures?
Teachers. I have two teachers in my immediate family and I don’t think I could do what they do.
Who are your real-life heroes?
The men and women in our Armed Forces. I have such deep, residing respect for what they sacrifice for us. We owe them so much!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Bringing the Dine & D’art fundraising event to ArtReach!
If not in Colorado, where would you like to live?
Colorado is pretty hard to beat, but I would live in a warmer weather climate by the ocean. I love going to sleep to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach and the smell of the ocean air.
What is your most treasured possession?
Putting aside the debate over whether or not they are a “possession”, it would be my pets. I have 2 Akita’s and 2 British Shorthair cats that I love dearly, give me great comfort and joy. They mean the world to me.
What do you most value in your friends?
What is it that you most dislike?
People who are constantly late. I don’t like to have my time wasted, as it seems that there is never enough of it as it is. And if anyone is going to waste my time, it should be me!
What is your greatest regret?
I don’t know if I have one. It seems as if all those “regrets” led to some sort of life lesson for me and I don’t think I’d change that.
What is your motto?
Life is short. And/or Some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug.
LOVE this article about you and your passions!! I'm so glad you posted it on your wall and I'm going to repost if that's ok...I want to spread your good work! SAS was definitely a life changing experience for all of us. I'm so happy I got to meet you then!! Keep in touch, I hope to make it back to CO someday...soon.
Patty Jensen Verhage
I feel good that I knew many of these things about you already, but great article. You have always been passionate about art reach and have involved a number of your friends, which has been great! Anyone who gets to know Karye is fortunate!
Cool Karye!!! Keep up the good work with ArtReach.