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Mieke Bevelander
Mieke Bevelander

About Mieke Bevelander

Mieke Bevelander was born in Holland in 1946 and immigrated to Canada with her family in 1953. Her career started in high school in Port Credit, Ontario, when she determined to become an artist. To that end, she moved to, and studied in The Hague, Holland, where she graduated with a diploma in Fine Arts from the Royal Academy of Art (Koninliije Academie van Beeldende Kunsten), completed independent studio work at the Free Academy of Art, and was a research assistant at the Netherlands Institute for Art History. On her return to Canada, Mieke obtained a Permanent Teaching Certificate and taught school for several years before continuing her studies at the University of Guelph where she graduated with distinction from the Honours Program in Fine Arts.

As a working artist she taught classes at The University of Guelph, The University of Waterloo, the Art Gallery of Stratford, the Kitchener/Waterloo Art Gallery, Cambridge Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Brant, Toronto School of Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and St. Thomas Serenity House Hospice.

Over the course of her career Mieke had one woman shows in The Netherlands, Scotland, Italy, and several times at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Toronto. In addition, she participated many group shows across Canada and in other parts of the world.

Her drawings and paintings have appeared on and in various books as well as in magazines and journals such as Exile, Brick, and the Malahat Review. Many private and public collections own her work.

Later in her career Mieke helped many individuals through her art therapy classes, which she considered to be some of her most important work.

Mieke was also very interested in philosophy and psychology and collected many books on those subjects.

She saw beauty in all aspects of nature, and collected many stones everywhere she went, along with plants, flowers, bones, and anything else uniquely curious.

Throughout her career Mieke travelled extensively but she always considered Southern Ontario — and particularly Toronto — to be her home. In 1995 she moved to London Ontario to provide palliative care to her mother. She then moved to Salt Spring Island, BC, for a few years, but the longing for close friends, and her connections to Toronto drew her back to Ontario.

Mieke’s connections to her brother, Jan, and family in BC were strong and she visited often and had the pleasure to explore the coast on Jan’s vessel the MV Curve of Time. Her time on the West Coast proved very inspirational and many of her most memorable paintings depict coastal scenery.

In 2017, when her health was failing, Mieke moved permanently to Powell River to be with her beloved family in BC, where she continued to make drawings, collect natural artifacts, and enjoy her library until her death in December of 2022.

~ Jan Bevelander