Bev Veale, a well-known local artist and community member, has partnered up with the Nicola Valley Arts Council and Nicola Valley Museum and Archives to curate a display of her works displaying life in the Nicola Valley, a life that the longtime painter and former homesteader knows very well.

The Veale family has resided in the Nicola Valley since the beginning of the 20th century, with parts of her family homesteading here since the turn of the century. While Veale wouldn’t reside in the Valley until the 60s, with her immediate family initially settling near Vernon, the artist’s connection to the community is undeniable throughout her conversation with the Herald.

“This is the Nicola Valley. There’s all sorts of odd things, good things, and beautiful things here. It’s an inspirational place,” said Veale.

“I was up in the cross country-ski area with my cousin, and we stopped right at the apex. I looked over to the left and there were two big trees with a stump in between. The stump was higher than I was, and it looked like an elephant. I did a painting about it.”

Veale said she is continuously inspired by the Nicola Valley, with this collection highlighting the storied history and culture of the area. Veale paints primarily in water-based oil paints, but has expanded her scope to try out more mediums. While things have been busy for her with art shows and other events, Veale hopes to get back to creating her art soon.

“I’ve got some pieces that are partially done that I let go for a little bit until things settled down, but I’m hoping to get back to my art, and make that my prime focus for the future.”

Previously serving as a Recreation Specialist in the Canadian Armed Forces, including three years in Germany during the Cold War, Veale went on to attend the University of Victoria, work for the City of Vernon, and run her family’s homestead in the Nicola Valley. Veale truly considers Merritt home.

Many of Veale’s years at her family’s homestead were spent setting up and running the Kinnikinic Homestead, a small business inviting people from all over B.C. and the world to experience homestead life in the Nicola Valley. This experience is also conveyed through her newest installation.

“The people here have been very kind to me, the weather has been kind, and I like the Nicola Valley very much. I hope it doesn’t get too civilized,” added Veale with a laugh.

“There’s a lot of talent in the Valley, an awful lot of really high quality talent. It’s been a long time getting to this point, and there’s a really enthusiastic group helping the arts get along. It’s a pleasure to be a part of that. I feel great about what they’re doing.”

Veale’s exhibit is currently on display at the Nicola Valley Museum and Archives, located 1675 Tutill Court. For more information, please call 250-378-4145.