Meet Howard Bevans, a Grand Bahama native who finds art in nature and finds the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s Uniquely Palm Beach Store a ‘natural’ fit for his one-of-a-kind jewelry creations.
When you ask Howard Bevans how he creates art, he doesn’t provide the standard answer about technique or style. “It is already there,” said Bevans, looking over his large collection of coconut shell earrings on display and for sale in the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s Uniquely Palm Beach Store. “Nature gives us everything,” he said.
The store displays a diverse, and hearty collection of Bevans’ earrings; each appearing to be changed and created to the artists’ liking, but with this Palm Beach County Artist, that is not the case.
“I find things in nature…everywhere I go,” he said. “The rest… It comes to you.”
The beach, parks, and his own backyard are some of the places he garners product for his unique medium. Fragments of coconut shells are as abundant as Bevan’s earring collection. Each earring indeed is different, and perfect in its imperfection.
While there is an art to making earrings from raw coconut shells, Bevans says he doesn’t approach it with a vision or idea in mind. “I work with what I have been given,” he said. He learned the craft from a fellow artisan who offered to teach him how while living in the Virgin Islands.
“I’ve always considered myself to be good at working with my hands, so learning the art of crafting jewelry out of coconuts was second nature to me.”
Drawing on his family for inspiration, Bevans fashions his jewelry creations from his Riviera Beach home studio. Then, he brings them – as they are – in delightful variety of shapes, carvings and shades of brown, to the Council’s Uniquely Palm Beach Store in Downtown Lake Worth, to display and to sell.
“I have always envisioned the opportunity for my crafts to be exposed to a broader customer base, and a wider variety of retail markets,” he said. The Cultural Council is the perfect organization that can make this a reality.”
Bevans enjoys his success as a professional artist, but also believes in giving back to the artist community. Recently, he donated a large portion of his earrings to the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County with the gift of all proceeds to benefit services and programs for Palm Beach County artists.
Another way he hopes to give back to the community is to one day share his craft by teaching others how to make jewelry out of coconut shells. “It’s becoming a lost art,” he said. “I would like to pass it on to the next generation.”