Una Vida de Colores
In every sense of the word, Beverly Chavez-Floyd’s life is colorful. Immersed in a world of art, her talents are as unique as the influences and experiences of her upbringing. Along the way, Beverly has worked on perfecting her whimsical art and discovering the infinite possibilities and mediums to express her creativity.
The roots of Beverly’s family tree in the Land of Enchantment are many generations deep. U.S. Census documents dating as far back as June, 1870 show that Evangelisto Chavez and his wife, Maria Petra de Jesus Trujillo, were residents of Picacho, New Mexico. They had seven children one of which was Beverly’s great grandfather, Teleforo Chavez who was born in 1855. Her paternal grandfather Epifanio Chavez was born in 1879 and was married to Guadalupe Triviz, born in 1883. Estevan and Margarita Vera were her maternal grandparents. Manuel Banegas, Estevan’s father and Beverly’s great grandfather, was one of fourteen settlers who were part of the Doña Ana Bend Colony Grant of 1843.
“I’m a mid-life crisis baby! My dad was born in 1912.” Beverly chuckles as she explains that he would have been 102 years old this year. Edward Triviz Woodrow Chavez, born on November 7, 1912, and Lucretia Banegas Chavez, had Beverly their youngest child late in their life. The fifty-seven year old has brothers and sisters in their 70’s, and was raised in the spirit of old music and art.
A trip down memory lane takes Beverly to the countless times when as a little girl, she sat on her father’s lap and begged him to draw for her. “I knew that my friends didn’t have a father that could draw a unicorn or Pegasus that looked like it was leaping off the page. I will always be proud to be Eddie T. Chavez' daughter,” she asserts. Eddie introduced Beverly to the world of art and awoke her imagination on a daily basis. “Dad and I would make Christmas decorations for the tree out of all kinds of things. He would point at a cloud and ask, ‘What does that look like to you?’” Eddie gave her the ability to see things in many different ways. He was an avid lover of folk art; the simple art that often comes from the need to make something out of nothing. “It is an art that comes from your soul and your heart. Dad, I love folk art too!” expressed Beverly.
It’s obvious that family has been the foundation for success for Beverly. Gregg, her husband of 38 years, and their sons Johnny and James are no exception. “I am married to a wonderful, kind and very supportive man. My sons are very talented and they make my life complete. I am truly blessed,” says Beverly. Their love and support of her endeavors are what have pushed her to excel and have allowed her to pursue her artistic passions.
Beverly has made quite a name for herself with her creativity. “My dear friend Sister Beth tells me it is a gift from God; it is also a gift from my father,” she says. Beverly believes this is why she is such an old soul and why one of her passions is giving old things new life. Like her father, Beverly’s art extends much farther than a simple painting.
As a matter of fact, her art doesn’t generally include traditional paintings. Her canvasses come in the form of old-dated furniture and house wares that she upcycles and repurposes. Her repertoire includes interior design, event planning and decorating, retablos on wooden planks, home-made tiles and custom pillows. One of Beverly’s most noted projects includes the interior design at the famous La Posta de Mesilla as well as the annual decoration of their renowned Christmas tree. Countless projects for Sister Beth and Jardin de los Niños as well as the inspiration for the exterior design of the Tutti Bambini building can also be added to her collection.
Having no formal training, Beverly has had to work very hard to get to where she is today. With a several ceramics and metal classes under her belt, she admits that being an older student has its advantages as she understands who she is as an artist and knows what she wants to get out of her classes. “When you have to learn while on a project and you make a mistake, you learn how to fix it. You don't forget the lesson, it sticks. You become a better problem solver,” she says. Although Beverly admits that one of her greatest regrets is not having gone to art school, she has benefited and learned from every opportunity and every person willing to teach her something.
From her big brother, Eddie Chavez Jr., Beverly learned about the building business. She lost her brother to cancer a few years ago, but remembers him vividly. “He was truly a renaissance man and he was an artist who could do it all: paint, gold and silversmith, cook, but most of all, he could build a one-of-a-kind custom home and make it a work of art,” smiles Beverly. Everything she learned from Eddie has opened another artistic avenue for Beverly and she has since renovated several local buildings, some with historical value.
For the last fifteen years, Beverly has helped Tom and Jerean Hutchinson with all of the La Posta restorations and remodels. Kathleen Foreman of Josefina’s in Mesilla has also commissioned her to help with the adobe walls and design of the court yard. More notably, eleven years ago Beverly and Gregg bought the adobe Valencia Building on Campo Street. The building sits in the old Historic District and is now the home of their title company, Las Cruces Abstract and Title Co.
Beverly remembers playing in the once open court yard of the Valencia Building as a child when her father would take her to visit her cousins. Otto Bombach, the father-in-law of her great-cousin Manuel Chavez, built it in the 1870s. When they purchased it, Beverly and Gregg were thrilled to have it once again belong to their family. However, what they thought would be a simple remodel turned out to be a major restoration project instead. Adobe was used in areas where a wall had to be built or a door way needed to be closed in. Beverly had vats of acid that were used to strip off many layers of old paint on the windows, doors and hardware and discovered beautiful old brass hinges and pins. Many of the old windows still had their original glass panes. The original wood floors were repaired and restored by Gregg and Beverly. Once complete the Doña Ana County Historical Society and the City of Las Cruces presented them with awards in appreciation of the restoration.
As if it everything Beverly already does isn’t enough, she has recently taken on another endeavor. Her store, Patina Home, opened in early October and features her own work (including the remodel of the space) as well as some consignment pieces. Patina carries one-of-a-kind furniture, lights and home accessories that have been either hand-made, painted, repurposed or upcycled in a fun and unique way. “Whenever my husband and I travel we enjoy looking for that one special store that is like no other. The one that you just can't walk past because the window displays or the sign or the exterior screams for you to enter! That is what I want Patina to do for our customers,” Beverly excitedly explains. And, as a diehard Las Cruces girl, this is what she wants for downtown. She believes that Main Street will once again be that great place she remembers when she worked at this very same building over thirty years ago.
Looking back at Beverly’s trajectory and strong roots in the Las Cruces area, one can easily see the long list of community ties. From her great grandparent’s service to Doña Ana County to the art her father created and left behind, she is continuing a legacy in this city, all while leaving her mark as a fabulous artist.