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Artist opens shop in Barbourville with one focus: To give back to her community

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Posted at 10:00 AM, Jul 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-23 10:27:41-04

KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Art has been one of the greatest gifts for a woman from Barbourville.

She teaches the notion that if you don't like what you're making, you can turn it into something else.

"I just feel the need to want to help," says Hollyann Burmeister.

At Color Me Creative, she helps kids find their creativity.

"Anybody that would come to the shop, I'd be more than happy," she says.

Like any project, you have to start somewhere. Hollyann's project started in Pennsylvania.

"I had my first child at 17," she said.

Her first marriage didn't work out. She says she was young. Life, like art, you can turn it into something else if it isn't going as planned.

"I've literally been in all those categories," she said. "I was homeless for a year and a half, I was abused, I was a teen mom, I was a runaway, I was a problem child."

It was her second marriage that helped shape who she is today. Together with her husband for 35 years, married for just shy of 32, that relationship was state of the art.

"He was a good father, he was a good husband," she said while fighting back tears. "He was very, very supportive of anything I wanted to do."

All Burmeister wants to do is be there for someone in her community. She wants to help children explore their creativity. She wants to help children with special needs, veterans, and victims of domestic violence.

"Hopefully, when they come here and they hear my story, it makes them comfortable," she said. "This is what happened to me. These are the things that happened to me. But look where I am now."

She's close to finishing her project. She's here to remind others of the big picture.

"Even if that's the only thing I can provide them with is that there is light at the end of the tunnel, I'm okay with that," she said.

Color Me Creative will have its grand opening on Saturday. It will be at 2658 US25 SE in Barbourville. Burmeister says although her second husband has passed away, she's thankful for the ongoing support from Larry Wolfe, the man she is with now. She's also hoping to connect with veterans in the area at the first annual Freedom Fest in Barbourville on September 2nd.