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Bringing Color to the World

Meet three local female artists and their exceptional work.

Article by Karoline Chapman and Mandy Calvin

Photography by Submitted by each individual Artist

Originally published in Southlake City Lifestyle

“I went in for my kindergarten checkup, and the doctors found early stages of Leukemia. Instead of starting school, I started chemotherapy,” says local artist Oliva Bennett. After receiving her diagnosis at age five, Olivia’s childhood painting hobby became her emotional escape as she navigated cancer. When her treatment concluded, and she returned to school, Olivia’s teachers recognized her artistic gifts and encouraged her parents to find supplemental artistic training to help hone her abilities. 

As her talents grew, so did her fame, with Olivia selling her first painting at age 8, which propelled her to sell her work at art shows around Texas. Media attention for her art led her to meet President George W. Bush at 12 and appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show at 13. 

Despite her larger-than-life experiences that have allowed her to travel the world, there’s “no place like home” for Olivia, who is back to her roots living again in Southlake, where she opened her first gallery and her career kicked off.

“I’ve painted everything from landscapes to portraits, but my focus has always been on nature and wildlife,” says Olivia. “I love color and believe it’s SO important to surround yourself with beautiful and uplifting images, which is why I paint what I paint.”

Olivia shares that her favorite type of art to create is contemporary florals, and roses are her most commissioned design. Recently, she’s expanded into footwear, having launched the OLIVIA BENNETT Collection by Twisted X.(R TM) last year. The footwear collection features 14 shoe/cowgirl boot styles using sustainable materials. Following two years of development, she will soon release her first apparel collection, where each piece incorporates her signature art. Currently, she’s working on a new painting series called “Texas Forever,” inspired by her love for her home state she’s grown to appreciate more with time after her many travels and opportunities to live in other states. 

Not only is Southlake home to Olivia’s career, but it’s also where her family began. She met her husband John 13 years ago when he came into her gallery, then located in Southlake Town Square, to commission a painting. Fast forward to now, and they are the parents of one 8-year-old son, Graham, whom Olivia homeschools. 

“I loved my experience of being homeschooled through middle and high school, so I knew early on that I wanted to homeschool Graham, too,” says Olivia. “I want him to think creatively, outside the box, and to pursue his passions young. Homeschooling allows us to travel many months of the year, and we do. He gets to join me for my meetings and share our experience of owning a business. I want him to know that just because you grow up doesn’t mean you must stop playing and creating.”

Navigating childhood cancer has impacted every aspect of Olivia’s life, including how she parents. “I’ve learned that health is wealth,” she says. “Maintaining physical and emotional well-being is my top priority, not keeping up with what everyone else is doing. We all have unique callings and aptitudes, and when we are in the “flow” of what we are meant to do, life is more enjoyable for everyone. I encourage other moms to protect their energy and focus on their musts.” 

Olivia’s hopes for her son Graham are similar to her advice for other female artists striving to make a name for themselves. “Find your voice and share it,” says Olivia. “The more authentic, the better. In my experience, people buy art that allows them to connect with you and your story.”

Today, Olivia continues to create commissioned art and focuses on philanthropic giving for cancer and health-related organizations. To see Olivia and her new collection, visit her pop-up that will benefit the MeSquared Foundation held at Kendra Scott in Southlake Town Square on May 6th from 10 am to 2 pm. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and to keep up with her fantastic work. 

“All of us are artists in one form or another; it’s important to try different forms of art to explore what amazes you and brings that smile to your face,” says Riya, freshman at Southlake Carrol High School, artist, and entrepreneur. 

Although she’s only lived in Southlake since 2019 after being brought up in India, Riya has already established herself as a local force for creative artistry. Her business, KaarigaRiya Crafts, became part of the Southlake Chamber of Commerce in 2021, and she was a vendor at the Southlake Diwali Fest the same year. 

Riya’s crafting business, where she creates personalized pieces, started during the pandemic. To use the unexpected extra time on her hands, she dove into learning how to create art with epoxy resin, her medium of choice. With the guidance of her supportive parents, she launched her business to sell her resin pieces, such as votives, cutting boards, coasters, and more, as well as custom work. 

“Epoxy resin is a clear liquid that hardens into a glossy, durable and transparent surface when mixed with a catalyst,” Riya explains. “I create various effects by adding pigments like glitter, mica powder, alcohol ink, dried flowers and other materials into the resin before pouring it on various surfaces such as wood, canvas, metal or glass. Resin art can also be used to make jewelry, sculptures and other 3D objects by using molds or free-form techniques. I love this art form because it allows the artist to manipulate the viscosity, transparency, texture and color effects as per custom needs.” 

The chances of finding Riya at Southlake’s biggest annual events are high, as she’s set up shop at the Southlake Oktoberfest and Diwali Fest. She aspires to continue creating art for local businesses, whether for decor, auctions, or gifts. Currently, she is working on hosting local workshops to teach and share the art of resin, and she’s been recruited by Southlake Carroll High School to create merchandise as a Dragon Logo licensee. 

To stay up-to-date with Riya’s unique work and upcoming workshops, visit her site or drop her a line at

“Like many people, 2020 made me look at things differently as everything around us changed,” says Lindsey Han, owner of Lindsey Han Salon. “I took stock of the variety of hair services that I’d always offered and decided that I wanted to focus on my talents and passions.” 

For Lindsey, this meant utilizing her hair color expertise garnered through 14 years of experience to narrow her focus, becoming a Blonde Specialist. Through transitioning to a niche stylist, she’s been able to stay ahead of the trends and create her own “Lindsey Han Method” of blonde specialties. 

At her high-end, niche Southlake salon, Lindsey and her stylists focus on lived-in-blondes, blonde balayage, and hand-tied extensions to create natural yet stunning effects. 

Lindsey's services have been so popular among Southlake ladies that she’s started an apprentice program, The Lindsey Han Training and Apprenticeship Program. To date, her program has added two new stylists to the salon. 

To better your blonde and book an appointment with Lindsey, visit

“I went in for my kindergarten checkup, and the doctors found early stages of Leukemia. Instead of starting school, I started chemotherapy" - Local Artist Olivia Bennett

  • Lindsey Han - Owner of Lindsey Han Salon the Blonde Specialists
  • Boards by Riya
  • Coasters by Riya
  • Butterfly Painting by Olivia Bennett
  • Lindsey Han Salon Client with Balayage and Hand-Tied Extensions
  • Lindsey Han Salon Client With Touch-Up and Hand-Tied Extensions
  • Custom Creation by Riya
  • Cow Painting by Oliva Bennett
  • Rose Painting by Olivia Bennett
  • Riya-Artist and owner of KaarigaRiya Custom Creationsions by Ria