Meet Pretty in Pink. She’s the resident Flamingo welcoming everyone in to The Creative Hive. She’s bright, she’s sassy, and she’s a work of art…Beverly Miller-Oliwa’s art. Hundreds of folded and manipulated pieces of cloth that are each treated and positioned to create sculptures. Her work shows a practiced hand and a passion for her craft, but Beverly hasn’t been doing this for decades. The first time she dove in to the need to create…Beverly was 55 years old.
Let’s go back. Beverly grew up in a small rural Saskatchewan town on a farm with her family. She says she’s always loved art and creating, but in her traditional Ukrainian home that was not a practical job…end of discussion. It was pushed aside, but never really gone. Beverly became a seamstress and developed a deep appreciation and connection with fabric. How it moved and could be shaped…a small foreshadowing of the art she would some day sculpt.
At 55 Beverly discovered sculpting and it wasn’t long before the creativity was unleashed inside like a burst of energy waiting to escape. She studied, she practiced, and by 60 years old became an art teacher. The perfect job to do from home while being able to continually explore her art abilities. And the first thing in her life that allowed her to shift the focus from her battle with depression. She says while finding art…she’s found a way to calm the thoughts and live life more completely.
Here’s the thing…there are only so many places you can put sculptures and some of Beverly’s stand more than 4 feet tall. They had to go somewhere and Beverly decided it was time they all found their forever homes. She says it was scary and meant she would have to expose her inner self to the world. but fear didn’t stop her and Beverly shared her work with the public. It was validating, exciting, and pushed her to create more while teaching less.
At 65 years old Beverly proudly wears the title “artist.” She says, “This is me. If you love it great…if not…maybe it’s not for you.” She believes it’s important to follow the path that makes your heart sing and connecting with people in your community will always help.
I asked Beverly how does it make you feel when you hear someone call you an artist? She got quiet for the first time and said, “It makes me cry. At 65 I’m just starting to wear that mantel proudly and to comet here from all the other things I’ve done is amazing.”
Thank you Beverly for bringing a bright pink flamingo to the front entrance of The Creative Hive. We are so happy to have met you.
Beverly Miller-Oliwa https://www.facebook.com/beverly.oliwa