Photo: Olivia Pou, artist
by Charles Gladden
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 14, 2023
‘Never Too Late – be Inspired!’ is the title of 87-year-old Olivia Pou’s art exhibition that is being featured at the Imagination Factri in collaboration with the Kirkland Smith School of Visual Arts beginning today. Pou, a born and raised Belize City resident, has spent the majority of her life as a well-known and dedicated seamstress; but from a young age she always had a passion for painting.
“From a child, I liked painting,” Pou said. “I just started to take it more seriously when I was 85. I painted some pictures and gave them to my children [and] my grandchildren for memories because I’m getting old. I said, before I depart let me leave something for them to remember me by,” she added.
Pou was first encouraged to paint for her kids as a way for them to remember her when she passes, and she uses her sons’ love for oceans and aquatic life for inspiration.
“My two sons – who are in the States – love the sea, and so I said I’ll paint some beach and seascapes for them. I painted an underwater world because he [my son] loves diving; so I did that. Those were the first paintings that I got to do,” she said.
Pou never intended to become an artist, but her artwork garnered the attention of many non-relatives who were amazed by her pieces. She credits her artwork pieces to God.
“All this that is here is what God gave me as a gift. It’s not something I went to school for art lessons. It just came to me and I just start to paint … Everything that I have [and] that I do is what God has given me, and I thank Him for it,” she noted.
In her late 80s, Pou isn’t showing any signs of slowing down with her paintings, and encourages elderly folks – like herself – to keep busy to avoid depressing thoughts that may lead to mental illness.
Pou’s artwork opened to the public today, Thursday, September 14, and will be up for display for 2 weeks at the Imagination Factri.