Beverly BleyAssociate's Degree in Medical Secretary Studies, '64

Today, students are told they will likely switch careers several times over the course of their working lives. But that notion was not the norm in 1964, when Beverly Bley graduated from Lasell with an associate’s degree in medical secretary studies.

Beverly advanced her career in the medical and health fields, but did not discover her passion for art until later in her work life. She recently shared her artwork with the Lasell community in an exhibition at the Wiedeman Gallery during Alumni Reunion Weekend in May.

In a recent interview, Beverly talked about her journey to become an artist and her memories of Lasell.

What was your career and education path like after Lasell?

BB: I worked after graduation for a general surgeon at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, in Newton, Mass. for about a year. Then I married my high school sweetheart and we moved to Oklahoma. We moved between Oklahoma, Connecticut, California, and Washington State. I got my bachelor’s degree at Western Washington University in community health. Texas – where I got a master’s a degree in corporate wellness - is where the start of my interest in the arts came in because I started a business designing and producing high-end jewelry and accessories.

We then moved back to Virginia and I worked as a consultant.

How did you become interested in art?

BB: When I continued my education after Lasell, I took some art history courses and really enjoyed the art. We moved to so many different states over the years and saw so much wonderful architecture and nature that I really wanted to paint those memories.

I thought I might talk my youngest daughter into painting some of those memories when she graduated as a fine arts major from Texas Tech. I kept waiting and waiting to no avail and then started my own art education. After many years of workshops and studies, I finally painted what I wanted. I paint for my daughter now.

What do you paint? Do you have a favorite type of painting?

BB: I paint many subjects--if I were in the medical profession, I would be known as a generalist. I have painted people, landscapes, still life, representational art and abstract styles. I paint in oils, watercolors, acrylics, inks, some collage and on various grounds. I cannot settle down after 15 years of painting to one style or subject. I am still inspired by the same things and I hopefully keep evolving.

When you returned to campus recently what surprised you the most?

BB: I was very surprised how much the campus had grown, Lasell Village, etc. Yet it remains the same with a wonderful intimate friendliness, which I loved so much about it when I attended years ago. The basis of that warmth comes from those who work at Lasell as well as the alumni.

What is one of your favorite memories of Lasell?

BB: My favorite memory is having coffee in the Barn with my friends – where the day students in those days went to have coffee, it was a gathering place.

Several people saw your show during Alumni Weekend this year, do you have other art shows?

BB: I am part of Brushstrokes Gallery in Fredericksburg, VA and I show work there all the time. Also I have art displayed at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg. The website at Brushstrokes is - www.brushstrokesfredericksburg.com.

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