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Karen Maria Valerie Beverly is a native Washingtonian, retired federal government worker, and licensed artist in the Jackson Square , New Orleans, Louisiana maintaining residence in both Suitland, Maryland and New Orleans.
She is the seventh of nine children of the late Dorothy & Daniel Beverly, Sr. Karen’s dedicated and loving parents laid a strong foundation for her and her siblings — all of whom were afforded a private Catholic school education. Her father worked two jobs for over 40 years and this example help to instill great work ethic in Karen.
She furthered her education by putting herself through college often working three jobs and maintaining honor status and completing her studies in 3.5 years graduating cum laude ; on the Deans List and earning a B A degree in English and concentration in Media Journalism.
She credits her Mother for her caring nature which allowed her to care for her terminally father and sister.. both of whom succumb to their illnesses in 1998 and 1988 respectively. She then cared for her Mother in her home until her Mothers passing in September 2013.
Before her Mother’s passing Karen had never even held a paint brush. Broken hearted and feeling distraught after losing her Mother , she found herself walking pass the paint aisle in a Michaels craft store. She heard an inner voice telling her to buy paint. Karen believes this was truly instructions from God and her Mother reaching out to her. She listened... purchased the paint supplies and began painting .. almost obsessively..often staying up all night to create countless pieces. Family and friends took notice to Karen’s new interest in awe of the items she was creating. She put her work on mugs , key chains T shirts , magnets and calendars. People started wanting to buy her work. Her art had elevated her past her grief and Irie Artistry by KMVB was born. This truly strengthen her belief that God never closes one door without opening another.
After God opened the door and shed light on her new hidden talent, Karen retired with 40 years of exemplary service from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) headquarters in Washington, DC in January 2016 and won her Jackson Square Artist permit in February 2016 in a lottery held by the City of New Orleans, which Karen learned of only 3 days before the application deadline. Just one month into retirement she began another rewarding and even more fulfilling career.
Being a member of the Jackson Square Art collective since 2016 has allowed Karen to sell her work to people from across the United States and all over the world. Her work has traveled far and wide to places such as Australia ,New Zealand, Paris, Greece, Sweden , Poland , Italy and Croatia. Once Karen received an e-mail from a customer with a photo attached of Karen’s painting hanging in her dining room in London with a note ,” You’re an international artist now!” Truly amazing.
In addition to being an international artist, Karen is a single mother of an adult son. She enjoys baking, traveling, photography, listening to music; crocheting, and walking. In 1997 Karen trained for and completed the Marine Corp Marathon in DC ...race walking 26.2 miles in 6.5 hours and raised over $3,000. for the Leukemia Society. While enjoying many interests, art has become her true passion.
Her love of life , nature, sisterhood, and family is depicted in each of her artistic creations. Karen truly believes her art has saved her life. Through it, she has found great joy. A joy which is often shared by the countless art enthusiasts that are fortunate enough to cross her path.
Karen welcomes every opportunity to sell her work and share her inspiring story.
Her new motto——
Art is Life! Live it! Breathe it! Paint it!
Talking Creativity and Collaboration with Author
Photo of author by Karim Maggio.
By Norah Vawter