Wyoming Arts Council

In memoriam: Richard Olveda, photographer and graphic artist, Wyoming Arts Council board member

Fermin “Richard” Olveda was born July 23, 1939 in Powell, Wyoming. He was the youngest of Jesus and Aurelia Olveda’s eight children. After attending school in Powell and graduating in 1958, Richard enlisted in the U.S. Army. During his service he spent 14 months overseas attached to Company C 385th MP Bn.

Richard met the love of his life in Edcouch, Texas, in 1970. Linda Rodriguez had been a teacher’s aide at the Migrants Organization where he was the Center Director. They were married April 11, 1971, started a family and settled in Powell, Wyoming, in 1977.

While living in Powell, Richard focused on art during his free time. His artistic skill was diverse and included; painting, sculpting, photography, literature and poetry. Richard’s first opportunity to display his work in Wyoming came in 1986 at Northwest Community College. His passion for art led him to open the Black Cat Gallery. As director he worked to make the gallery a centerpiece location for exhibiting work from not only accomplished artists, but the emerging and underserved creative minds throughout the region. The gallery was recognized in 1994, being nominated for the Governor’s Art Award thanks in large part to the tireless effort of Mr. Olveda. After his retirement, being inspired by Picasso, he began work in digital photography. He created over 60,000 digital works, spending up to 10 hours daily. This persevering attitude and a resolute belief that art should be shared compelled him to serve two terms as a board member on the Wyoming Arts Council. His exhibits have been shown throughout the state over the years, the last one having been on display from May 23-June 30, 2011, in Laramie.

Relaxation for Richard came in several forms. Spending time with his six grandchildren would of course top the list. Right behind that would be satisfying his craving for fresh trout, the North Fork River in Cody being his preferred testing grounds for his own flies.

Exercise for Richard typically came in the form of a heated debate. Anyone looking to get their blood pumping could read through his political blogging and find something to get riled about. Whether it be savoring a slice of sweet, cold watermelon, listening to Bob Dylan on the radio, perusing a bookstore or haggling at a flea market, Richard was always smiling. With his trusty camera slung over a shoulder, Richard was always ready for an adventure. “I may forget to put my pants on in the morning, but I never forget my camera.”

Richard passed away on July 11, 2011. He is survived by his three children, Melissa Wilson and her husband Jeremy, Roxanne Fish and her husband Jason, Adolfo Olveda and his wife Jennifer; 6 grandchildren — Andrew and Justin Wilson, William, Nathan, and Urijah Fish, and Isabel Olveda.

At his request no services will be held.

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