GREENVILLE, N.C. — The creations of 95-year-old working artist, Bee Behr, will be presented in an exclusive exhibit, “Bee Behr…Over the Years,” from November 2 – 21, 2008 at The Art Gallery & Studio of Nelle Lee Hayes, in Greenville, NC. A direct quote from Bee Behr, “I don’t think in the same direction as most people,” gives perhaps the best insight into the unique talent of this artist… over the years; 95 years, to be exact. Her multi-media work in watercolor, oil, pottery and wood reflect the richness and variety in ability, vision and life experience. As a young girl, she was nicknamed Bee; not as a shortened version of Beatrice, but because her father called her a busy bee.

Beatrice Van der Pool BehrThroughout life, she has continued to be busy. Her college education was interrupted for financial reasons and marriage and to accommodate the raising of three children. Later, however, her talent and drive provided the impetus to complete her BA and Masters degrees at Eastern Carolina University. Along with the creation of her works, she taught Art History as a Continuing Education course at ECU. She has also taught courses in pottery at Cypress Glen. Her art has been shown in Greenville, Raleigh and Belhaven.

Bee Behr is not simply an interesting person. She has always been an interested person. And, art was not her only interest. She worked diligently for the ECU Friends of Joyner Library, helped start and maintained the first African pre-school and kindergarten in Pitt County, and was a founding member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greenville, in which she remains very active. For many years, she was a member of Literacy Volunteers and has taught many adults to read.

In 2007, she was honored by the Girl Scouts as a Woman of Distinction. As such, she was chosen as a role model who inspires girls to have courage, confidence and character, thus making the world a better place. At the age of 94, this was quite an accolade.

Travel has always been an important part of life for Bee. She has spent time in 22 different countries. Each trip has had its own special impact, including international friendships and the rich experiences which inspire creativity. She has always carried a sketch pad and pencil to record subjects and memories from these experiences. Often, the sketches would, later, dictate the focus of a wonderful picture or piece of pottery.

At the age of 95, she attributes her ongoing good health, creativity and vitality to an element of good fortune; but, also, to having always been busy with one thing or another — her art, the practicalities of life and intense involvement with the world around her.

The art of Beatrice Van der Pool Behr speaks for itself. Her home and the homes of her family and friends are a showcase for her work. Bee still carries her sketch pad-her memory book. Over the years, it has served her well and we are all the richer for it.

A public opening reception will be held Sunday, November 2nd 2008, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Art Room at The Gallery & Studio of Nelle Lee Hayes, 403 Evans St. Uptown, Greenville, NC.

[tags]Art Gallery of Nelle Lee Hayes, artist Bee Behr[/tags]