by Trish Commons
Beverly Heller did many extraordinary career adventures through Europe and beyond before settling down to a little spot in Hudson. But this gal born, in Syracuse, New York, didn’t know yet what her new Floridian life had in store for her. She found herself a new beau, “art” and a love affair began.
Beverly and her husband, William Heller retired over 3 decades ago. Within a short time, her friend, Ann Clark, persuaded Bev to go to her first art guild experience. Not only did this former New Yorker go to the Dunedin Art Guild, but she became its president for the next two years. Then this energetic retiree joined the Creative Art Guild in Tarpon Springs. Not long after, she went to a third art group at a local senior center to inspire its members to go beyond painting like “Grandma Moses” and branch out into more modern approaches in newer art projects.
Just a short time later, Beverly discovered the West Pasco Art Guild in New Port Richey which changed her life. Her love for art blossomed. She went to her first fine art show and won her first two ribbons that day. With sheer delight, she won 34 art ribbons over the next two decades. Commissions to paint came pouring in. One patron alone hired her to paint 57 watercolors. Watercolor is still her favorite medium. Her atelier is filled with colorful boats, Florida lighthouses on sandy beaches, a variety of indigenous butterflies and domestic cats.
Heller served as the WPAG President for 10 years before stepping down from that post in 2018. She says that the Guild’s Vice President, Jean Metzenthin, has helped her tremendously along the way. Beverly still enjoys working with all of the art guild members.
Art has been and still is a kindred spirit of joy to her. She still stays active in painting at her home’s studio and at the WPAG when she can. Beverly, at 86 years young, still volunteers to teach a Wednesday art class once in awhile, provides help wherever she can, and even calls members for special art events. She sets an excellent example for the rest of us! Thank you, Beverly!