“Mosaic” is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a surface decoration made by inlaying small pieces of variously colored material to form pictures or patterns” — also, “the process of making it.” Sheila Keever, an artist who is very skilled in the process, will be exhibiting her beautifully decorated surfaces at the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council gallery in the ArtStation, 200 E. Division Street in downtown Hope, October 22- November 8. The exhibit is free to the public and the gallery will be open for viewing Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Art works will also be available for purchase.
Keever lives on the Texas side of Texarkana and describes herself as having “a history with all things crafty.” She has been practicing the art of mosaics for 20 years, starting sometime after she completed a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design at Henderson State University. She also has a nursing degree from St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas; a marketing degree from Texas A & M, Texarkana; and a master’s in Religious Studies from the University of Dallas.
“I also love all the other crafts — sewing, writing, designing, etc. I usually have four or five projects going at the same time,” she said. “I’ve attended the Society of Mosaic Artists convention, with workshops, almost every year since its inception,” Keever continued. “I work at home, but mosaics is a slow process; so I don’t get done as much as I would like.”
“My formative years were spent in Kansas in a little creek-bed town near Dodge City, Gun Smoke area,” she said. She and her husband moved to Texarkana, by way of San Antonio, almost 40 years ago. They have four sons, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, who are all creative, she said. “One son is creating a robot for sea exploration and oil rig repair,” said Keever. “Unfortunately, he doesn’t need any mosaic help.”
In her 20 years of working with mosaics, Keever said she has found that it hits just about everything she likes to do and work with, from recycling to antiques. “There are so many different ways with which to work with the mosaic form that it is hard to say which one I like best,” she said. She gives lessons to beginners on Tuesday evenings at Arts on Main, across from the Perot Theater, on Main Street in downtown Texarkana. Her next six-week session for beginners starts November 5.
Keever recently made a trip to Ravena, Italy, which she described as “pretty much the home of ancient and modern mosaics.” She said she is looking forward to showing the Hope art community how it is done. “I have so much fun giving mosaic lessons; I probably missed my calling,” she said. “I should have been an art teacher, encompassing all that art has to offer.”