Jack Beverland / Mr. "B"
"The sun comes up in the east and sets in the west and you pray to God that everything happens okay in-between. Because sometimes it doesn't."
Americans, Jack Beverland identified himself by the work he did.
He was a corporate success story - a man who worked his way up the
ladder to become a high-ranking executive. He was the
"captain of the ship," the boss; he was Mr. B.
His dreams were cut short in 1987 by a car accident that left him with head injuries, resulting in Uncinate Seizures and Spinal Bifida. Then, in 1991, his job was eliminated, and Mr. B fell headlong into bouts of helplessness and anger. He felt useless. Medicine helped his physical problems, but emotionally Mr. B felt like giving up.
At his brother's suggestion, Mr. B started to paint, and his emotional life translated itself through paint. Each of Mr. B's paintings begins with a word or phrase like "Corporate Hog Boss," "Abandon," or "The Difference a Man Makes." Mr. B's creativity pulled him from his anger and depression, and the change in his emotions is visible in the subject matter he now paints. His current work focuses on bucolic scenes of southern rural life, fantastic utopian animal scenes, and biblical scenes like Noah's Ark and the Garden of Eden.
An Idaho native who moved to Florida as a young boy, is a self-taught Southern folk artist who has a distinct style. His first attempts at creating art reflected his sadness at the time over losing his job. One of his paintings was called "Alone", a "drawing of people without faces, and I'm the only one with a face," Beverland said. "I felt absolutely alone.
Since then, Mr. B's life has taken a turn for the better. He travels to schools throughout Tampa and gives folk art instruction to students
Beverland said he never planned out his art career. It just happened. For four years he has been invited to exhibit his paintings at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Alabama and for three years he has been invited to the Riverfest Art Festival in Georgia. But it is his exhibit at the OK Harris Gallery in the SoHo district of New York City - a contemporary gallery - that is perhaps the biggest surprise.
"It is the third best-rated gallery in New York City," he said. "I sold four paintings the day the exhibit opened."
He creates 60 to 70 paintings each year using house paint, fabric paint and glow-in-the-dark paint. Each one tells a story.
Beverland is involved with the Very Special Arts, an organization that provides educational opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities, especially children.
As part of his commitment to youth, he mentors a 10-year-old boy at Oldsmar Elementary School. Each Monday the two create paintings together.
He is in the current Big Book of Who is Who in American Art and is one of the leading folk artists in the Annual Vero Beach Center for the Arts.
On January 3, 2001, Mr. B lost is lovely wife of 42 years, Linda. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in December of 1996, and had fought bravely and gracefully against this tragic illness.
This website is dedicated to her wonderful memory. She is greatly missed.