*This is the final article in a number of In Memoriam tributes that were announced in April of this year.
In recognition of the passing of painter Beverley Oliver (born Beverley Edmond), the National Gallery of Jamaica would like to reflect on her contributions to the Jamaican artistic community.
Born on May 22, 1956 to renowned Jamaican painter Milton George, Oliver covered every surface she could find as a young child with bright colours. Rather than being discouraged by her elders she was sent to the Institute of Jamaica’s Junior Centre at the age of nine and encouraged by her father’s unrestrained painting style she was convinced that this was going to be her career path.
As an adolescent this dream faded replaced by other activities and concerns and the responsibilities of adulthood and childrearing soon took over seemingly ended her painterly aspirations. With her father’s encouragement that reignited her passion, Oliver returned to painting at age forty in 1996. Characterized as a woman with a “seemingly inexhaustible imagination”, Oliver’s open-ended and free-spirited approach to applying paint is found in prayer which she identified to have been her source of inspiration. As with artists within the landscape of Jamaican painters, Oliver over the years has developed her personal style by the ways in which she has invented and depicted people, situations and things in life through her works.
Matured in her personal style and ability to produce artworks, Oliver started exhibiting at Harmony Hall and the National Gallery of Jamaica. In 1996, Oliver’s first painting From Beyond was featured as a part of the Annual National Exhibition of the National Gallery of Jamaica. Additionally, Oliver has had her work “represented in the USA by CAVIN-MORRIS Gallery in New York”. Her works have been purchased by collectors in international destinations such as Hong Kong, Israel, Zimbabwe, Mexico and Sweden. The artist community recognizes Beverley Oliver for her contribution to visual arts in Jamaica.
She passed away on February 12, 2020. The Board of Directors and the staff of the National Gallery wish to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Beverley Oliver.
1P53-54 Van Asbroek, Herman. The All-Seeing I: Exploring the Imagination of Beverley Oliver 83-86 Ibid, P53-54
Please note Ms. Oliver’s passing was unrelated to COVID-19