Virmarie DePoyster was born and spent her childhood on the beautiful Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico until moving to Arkansas at the age of 15. The intense tropical colors, wide open spaces, salty air, and rain forest left an indelible impression on her that is translated in her paintings. Her desire to express herself creatively began at The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where she studied Apparel Merchandising and Design, driven by her love for fabrics, textures, and bright colors. In 2004, she decided to take her creativity in a new direction and enrolled in classes at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School. She quickly fell in love with the bright pigments of soft pastels and developed a love for painting with pastels on different types of paper, especially on textured surfaces that she creates. In the past twelve years, her reputation and recognition as an artist and art teacher have grown exponentially.
Virmarie is a visual artist in residency with the Arkansas Arts Council Arts in Education program and an instructor in drawing and pastel at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School. In 2012, she developed and implemented a therapeutic art program for Community Services, Inc., teaching at-risk youth in Conway and Russellville how to heal through art expression. In 2016, she began providing art therapy services to children and adolescents in acute care at The BridgeWay. DePoyster has also facilitated professional development workshops for schoolteachers, focusing on how to add more art into their curriculum.
Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally in numerous group and solo exhibitions. Her piece, Hay Field Glow, was awarded the Purchase Award from the Arkansas Arts Council and toured throughout Arkansas as part of the 2008 Small Works on Paper Exhibit. Furthermore, her portrait, Diagnosis = Ovarian Cancer, was awarded Honorable Mention at the 50th Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center. In 2013, at the Arkansas Pastel Society National Exhibition, juror Richard McKinley awarded her piece, Still in Love 6, first place and in 2015, her solo exhibition “Revelation” debuted at the Embassy of the United States of America in Rome, Italy. Her paintings are included in private and public collections internationally and throughout the United States. Currently, she lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, David and they look forward to visits from their college-aged children, Grant and Anna.