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Shaping a passion

[caption id="attachment_6348" align="alignleft" width="225"] Resident Katy Bevill[/caption]

Retirement gave Katy Bevill time to learn sculpting.

Visitors know they are near her apartment when they see her creations, sculpted in clay and hand- painted, decorating the hallway.

Katy learned to sculpt after she retired from a 38-year teaching career. “It’s been a wonderful hobby for me,” she said. “I always wanted to do it, but I didn’t have the time.”

Through the 1990s, Katy took classes with well-known local artist Babs Mellor at the Arkansas Avenue Senior Center.

She didn’t want to deal with marketing her artwork, so Katy decided to give away many of her tabletop sculptures. She is well- known for creating likenesses of people’s grandchildren and their pets. “I made hundreds of grandchildren sculptures. I’ve got sculptures all over in somebody’s home,” Katy said.

One of her favorite projects was done for her neighbors with three children. The eldest daughter was depicted reading a book. She sculpted the middle child in his favorite cowboy boots, vest and hat. The youngest posed sitting on a big rock at Botanica.

“That was one of my biggest and most fun,” Katy said. Later she made a sculpture of the youngest boy, which she kept. Katy included that one in an exhibit of her work at the Wichita Center for the Arts (now known as Mark Arts).

This holiday season, it was a treat to see Katy’s own nativity set and Christmas angel by her apartment door. The nativity includes intricate sculptures of Joseph, Mary holding baby Jesus and some sheep. She had a special stained-glass backdrop made to bring it all together. The Christmas angel was inspired by an article she had seen in Smithsonian Magazine.

Be sure to look for Katy’s work in this year’s Art is Ageless® exhibit.  She’s planning to enter two pieces.

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