Art is Essential! Having had the opportunity to be very involved with many aspects of the arts over the past 30 years, I have become convinced that this is indeed true. Art enriches our souls for both the artist and the viewer and it speaks to us individually in diverse ways and on different levels.

When we encounter a piece of art or an exhibition, whether in a gallery, a public place, a home or an office, we are changed by the encounter in a number of ways:

• The pure beauty of a piece – the subject and how it is painted

• The memories it brings back – how it may remind us of places we have been,

and sometimes places we have forgotten

• The stories it tells – artists can communicate more effectively through their work than their words

• The way in which it unites us – art can bring people together through a common experience and provoke conversations

• The way it enhances a space – more quickly than anything else, a fine piece of art can enhance a home or an office or even an outdoor area or public space

Art gives back on many levels. It can make us think, inspire us to make changes and improve our quality of life.

We have carefully selected our talented artists to show their work and teach workshops in the Beverly McNeil Gallery. We invite you to come to the gallery and let us help you see the differences in their styles, techniques, mediums and experience the joy found in art. Whether you are a distinguished collector or just beginning to explore your appreciation for art, you already or will soon agree with us that Art is Essential!

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Beverly Blount McNeil brings almost 30 years of experience in the arts to her role as owner of the Beverly McNeil Gallery. Beverly started Portrait Brokers of America in 1986, which grew into one of the leading portrait art firms in the country. In 2008, she and Julia G. Baughman acquired Portraits, Inc., a New York-based portrait company founded in 1942. In 2010 she and Ms. Baughman joined forces with Ruth Reeves and merged in her North Carolina based company, ThePortraitSource. Today, the combined companies operate under the name Portraits, Inc., assisting families and institutions in finding the ideal artists to paint their portraits.

Beverly opened the Beverly McNeil Gallery in Destin, Florida, in 2000 and was honored to represent many of the region’s finest artists. While in Florida she served on the board of Vanguard Bank, and was a founding board member of the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation. She closed the gallery in 2010 when she and her husband, John, moved back home to Birmingham, AL.

Beverly currently serves on the boards of Children’s Hospital of Alabama and The Boys and Girls Club of Central Alabama. She was a founding member of Art on the Lake at Lake Martin, AL, created to raise support for Children’s Harbor and the arts. She was also instrumental in helping to raise funds and acquire the wonderful collection of Alabama art at the new Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

The Beverly McNeil Gallery is now relocated in Birmingham, Alabama in the Historic section of Lakeview and in the former space of The Loretta Goodwin Gallery, which occupied it for the past 35 years. The gallery is adjacent to the corporate headquarters for Portraits, Inc. and together these galleries create a wonderful art center for clientele.

Beverly and John are blessed with a growing family consisting of their five children and their spouses and thirteen wonderful grandchildren.