Artist Bunny Oliver will visit Vail today
Painting has been a lifelong dream for Bunny Oliver. Before the late 1980s her efforts were sporadic. She had been employed in a variety of fields, mostly on the staffs of politicians and attorneys.Oliver was exposed to the impressionism of a group of artists in New Mexico. After that workshop, the more she painted, the more she was consumed with a desire to create beautiful images. Painting during every available moment, Oliver read art books constantly and studied paintings in museums and galleries.
In 1989, Oliver began showing her work in local art festivals and gallery representation soon followed. Her work is now carried in galleries in Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, as well as in her studio/gallery in Austin, Texas. Oliver will be in attendance today at the Vail Art and Wine Faire, and her art will be on display at the Cogswell Gallery in Vail through the weekend.One of Oliver’s greatest joys associated with her artwork has been her involvement with young people of Juticalpa, Honduras. When she was there in October 2000 on a mission trip with members of her church, Oliver learned that the Honduran government provides education only through the sixth grade. After that, the student’s family must pay. The people in the colonia, where she was constructing houses to replace those lost after Hurricane Mitch, had a hard enough time providing food for their children, and an education was out of the question. Oliver and the group started a scholarship fund using her paintings, limited edition giclée prints, posters and note cards to raise money to send qualified students to school beyond the sixth grade. In the scholarship’s first year, 2002, the group had 14 students, and in 2003 the group had 20.
“Using ‘my dream’ to help them realize their dreams has been so rewarding, and at the same time so humbling,” Oliver said.Oliver paints in vivid colors and bold brushstrokes.
“The joy for me is in the creation, but the enthusiastic response of viewers validates my efforts,” Oliver said. “Beauty surrounds us, but we are so busy hurrying and scurrying around, we seldom pay attention to it.”Oliver constantly seeks to portray the beauty in everyday things to encourage viewers to take a moment to appreciate the way the light falls on a garden path or the brilliant colors in a simple vase of fresh picked flowers. “Color excites me, and I love to emphasize it,” Oliver said.