The Flagler County resident loves painting landscapes and nature, with an abstracted touch.
In grade school, Trish Vevera was always chosen to decorate the classroom’s bulletin board. She looks back on that time fondly. It was her start into the art world — a world she’s lived in for over 50 years.
“I always liked to do that,” she said smiling. “Every month, outside our classroom, we had a bulletin board and we got to do it.”
The plein air artist went on to study art and art education in undergraduate and graduate school. Vevera taught art part-time for a while and then became a postmaster in Illinois before retiring to Plantation Bay in 2001. The Flagler County spot has served as a picturesque setting for many of her oil and acrylic pieces. Her house is covered in them. About 50 paintings — many her own, some not — line every wall. She said about 500 paintings scattered are around her house; she just doesn’t have space to hang them all.
Vevera has been named the 2018 Gargiulo Art Foundation Artist of the Year. A celebratory reception was held on Saturday, Nov. 10, for the honoree, who has been active in GAF for about five years. She is also involved with the Flagler Count Art League, which was the location for the ceremony in City Market Place.
The award is a big honor for Vevera, who is now the 19th recipient.
“I didn’t think I would win,” she said. “I’m always a finalist. It’s kind of like being a bridesmaid and never a bride. ... Now that I have it, I’m happy I got it, and it’s very nice.”
Creating a new piece just about every week, Vevera rarely puts down her paintbrush. Though she’s experimented with different art styles throughout her life, her colors have remained fairly consistent; they’re bold, bright and often include yellow, orange, blue and green.
“I think the people who know me know my colors,” Vevera said. “I kept the colors pretty strong in my work. ... I always say, if I see a tree and it has a yellow leaf on it, suddenly the whole side of the tree is yellow for some reason. I push the colors.”
She said she always tries to do something different — to say something different — with each piece.
A painting of three egrets stands tall in her living room. The bird on the left is the picture of health; the bird in the middle has something off about its wing; and the bird on the right is starting to disappear out of the painting. It’s representative of environmental harm, she said.
“I always have ideas,” Vevera said. “That’s one of the things that the Gargiulo Art Foundation does ... (Tom Gargiulo) thinks of something different and it challenges the artists who want to be challenged. I always challenge myself.”
Vevera’s work has been featured in two of GAF’s four-person shows over the last few years, which has allowed her to show multiple pieces of work.
Some of her art is currently on display at Picture Perfect Frame and Gallery in Palm Coast, as well as the Palm Coast campus of Daytona State College. She’s previously shown in the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach. She’s currently getting ready to send pieces to a show in Jacksonville, as well.
“It’s nice to be recognized for your work,” Vevera said.