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Artist paralyzed by stroke regains his movement, passion

Jared Hankins was paralyzed on his right side following a stroke at 31. Now, his work will be featured during his first solo show at Denver's Space Gallery.
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Posted at 9:12 AM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-15 11:12:10-05

DENVER— It’s a dream come true for Denver artist Jared Hankins. His work will be featured for five weeks at his first solo show at Denver’s Space Gallery in the city's art district on Santa Fe.

Hankins always loved to create. He began a career as an artist after college, but then, he went through a major setback.

“I had a stroke when I was 31. A vein thrombosis in the sagittal sinus, so it's kind of in the upper region of the brain,” said Hankins. “It left me with paralysis to my right side.”

The news was devastating for the right-handed artist.

“I had about a 5 percent chance of ever using my hand again and my arm,” said Hankins.

However, this artist was determined not to let the stroke shape his future.

“I just worked at PT and do everything I could to sort of get back control with my hand, and ended up basically kind of easing my way back into the arts,” said Hankins.

The artist says it was a two to three-year recovery process before he was back to painting again.

“I had a kind of resilience about myself that I was just like, 'If it takes five years or 10 years, I’m going to get back to it at some point,'” said Hankins.

Now at the age of 48, the artist is having his first solo show at Space Gallery in Denver’s art district.

The five-week exhibition, called "Precipice," includes a variety of paintings from the Flatirons in Boulder to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, including detailed structures with a realistic look. Hankins says he wouldn't be here today if it hadn't been for his determination.

“It’s yours to own and to deal with, and I think the sooner you come to that conclusion or are aware that that is part of the process, that's sort of when the healing can kind of begin,” he said.

Hankins said he still deals with some nerve pain and fatigue, but he's learned to manage it saying it's become his norm.

"Precipice" runs until March 4.

This article was written by Amy Wadas for KMGH.