Constance Faith Koehler (Connie) has a natural talent to create. Connie drew and created things all through her life. No one realized her talent, not even after an ink and crayon piece she created in first grade called, 'The Gumdrop Tree', which was put on the front cover of the Alabama school Journal in 1964.
She was born in Gadsden, Alabama where she attended first grade with her twin brother. Her family moved to Florida while Connie was still young. She has lived in Vero Beach for over forty years where her fifth sibling was born.
In 1996 Connie painted a small painting. From the results of this small painting, her family and friends realized she had a natural talent. It was then they encouraged her to take lessons. Connie also writes poems and stories, enjoys photography and graphic design. She sells and donates her work. As a professional artist she illustrates her own stories.
Some of her work has been published in the local newspaper, and on TCPalm.com. A few titles are, “Luckily, I didn't get the beak,” “Honeybees provide an interesting interlude,” and “Outdoor exploration.” Her opinion, “Add Parenting to Our Academic Curriculum” was published in the opinions section of her local Press Journal newspaper, as well as her opinion on “Black Friday.” One painting was featured in The Vero Magazine, another hung in Duval's Gallery, Key West, Florida, many were accepted into juried art shows, and many of her photos are featured in her local newspaper. (One of those photos won a second place photo contest).
She gives thanks for these gifts because they are what aided in her confidence. Doors opened and her low self-esteem boosted into a higher self-esteem.
Because of these talents and the encouragement of loved ones, Connie went back to school, received her GED Diploma, Administrative Assistance Certificate, and now has an A.S. degree in Graphic Design Technology. Connie is a member of The 2013 All-Florida Academic Team. 'Each year, an All-Florida Academic Team is named to recognize outstanding students in the Florida College System. This distinction is bestowed upon these students in recognition of their academic achievement, leadership and service to the community.
The All-Florida Academic Team is composed of students who were nominated by their respective colleges to the All-USA Academic Team competition sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society.'
In 2006, Connie has fought Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Large B Cell cancer and won that battle. The cancer is gone. She has been clean and sober for over 26 years. Connie has blossomed into a fine artist and a remarkable person who is willing to share her experience, strength, and hope with others. She enjoys helping others, and has found that in doing so she is strengthened.
Connie has received an Honorarium and several appreciations for her time and hard work:
• Appreciation and Honorarium from Mental Health Association
• Appreciation letter from Bryce Band Scholarship fundraiser
• Appreciation award from the Vero Beach Theatre Guild
• Appreciation letters from the Cancer Society
• Appreciation cards from students and clients
• Appreciation card from a mother involved with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Connie's message to others:
Believe in yourself, find something you like to do, and go for it.
Be thankful for what you have, and DON'T limit yourself in achieving what you don't have.
Remember by giving you receive, by loving you are loved, and it's a good feeling to be loved.