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The Kennedy Center

Artists Featured in Book

Jack Beverland

Photo of Jack Beverland

Jack Beverland, better known as "Mr. B," worked loyally for one corporation for many years. Then his company forced him into early retirement. Some people look at retirement with eagerness and anticipation. Jack was not one of them. For him it was a shock, and a devastation.

"I was somebody, and then I was nobody. No one understands the devastation of becoming a nobody. At least in my own mind. I was somebody in my corporate world. I was Mr. B... I was proud of myself and all of a sudden I wasn't proud of myself anymore."

His brother suggested Jack start to paint. His experiments with painting drew the anger and depression from him. At the encouragement of Stephanie Moore, the former director of the VSA arts Gallery in Washington, D.C., Mr. B spoke at a VSA arts event entitled "Artists and Images, In Their Own Words: Sunshine from Darkness," held at the National Museum for the History of Medicine at the Bethesda Medical Center.

"At the time I went to Washington to speak, I was still pretty messed up...I wasn't in good shape, I couldn't talk about it. I'd see a flower, and I [would] just break down and bawl. Couldn't control it."

Jack's early pieces were philosophical and a lot of them were angry, many of them focusing on corporate America.

Now there is a visible change in Mr. B's emotions, reflected in the both the subjects and flavor of his paintings. His current work focuses on bucolic scenes of southern rural life, fantastic utopian animal scenes, and biblical scenes like Noah's Ark and the Garden of Eden.