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Artist crafts new life with colors

By SERINA MARSHALL

Staff Writer

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After handing Main Street Café and Catering over to her kids, business-owner- turned-artist, Beverly Thomas Jenkins was literally standing in front of a blank canvas.

Jenkins, who has an art exhibit that will be on display at the McKinney Center through the month of August, understands the behind-the-scenes of the craft.

“I grew up around art, my father was an artist, but I never really created art,” Jenkins said. “In my catering career, I did elaborate set-ups for tables and did flower arrangements for 20 years.”

But eventually, Jenkins realized that too was art. “You get the itch as you get older. What am I doing for myself? My parents had a mosaic dining table when I was growing up,” Jenkins said. “So, I decided to try mosaic. I had tried quilting, knitting, cross-stitching, all needlework. They were fun and interesting, but they never held my attention. Then I broke tile and made a frame. It was the first thing I made, and I was smitten.”

Jenkins soon found that she enjoyed mosaic so much, she wanted to explore other options with the art.

“I realized I was pretty darn good. I vividly remember saying, ‘I am tired of making little frames and pieces. I want to make something special,” Jenkins said. “I wanted to use bigger mosaic pieces.”

The soothing nature and rhythm of the art was something that Jenkins said had a calming effect.

“I was in the zone by myself doing mosaic. It was cathartic,” Jenkins said. “Several years later, I wanted to start painting. I did oil painting, and I was pretty darn good. So, I started painting.”

Despite how easy the art seemed to come to Jenkins, it still shocked her whenever she would look at one of her pieces on display.

“I look at it and go, ‘I did that. I am amazed. You did that Beverly,’” Jenkins said.

To create the pieces that Jenkins loves so much, she has her own way of making it exactly what she sees in her head.

“I draw an idea on a board and create on top of that,” Jenkins said. “I create in my mind and also as it goes. There are no rules to art. Some is abstract and others are planned.”

The artist has created many pieces throughout the years, but she does have a favorite.

“I love painting florals; I think it comes from doing arrangements in the catering business,” Jenkins said. “I stand back and look at my painting to see what’s missing. It has to have power. Yin and Yang to each other. Everyone interprets art differently.”

Jenkins is wanting to experiment more with different combinations of the art she loves in the future.

“I want to combine paint and mosaic. I paint, see where I want the glass, and leave paint showing,” Jenkins says. “I am also using gold leaf smalti in my paintings.”

As Jenkins continues to create her passion, she says she will never lose sight of one thing. “I am capable,” she said.

Drop-in hours for the exhibit are Monday–Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.