A new exhibit at the James J. Hill House in St. Paul honors Charles Beck, a Fergus Falls artist and long-time art instructor at Minnesota State Community College whose work was inspired by his Otter Tail County surroundings.
Beck, whose career as an artist spanned seven decades, died in 2017 at age 94. He taught for 28 years at M State’s Fergus Falls campus, which provided the exhibit with two of Beck’s early paintings from its extensive collection of his work. One is an untitled abstract oil from the early 1950s, and “Snow Landscape” is an oil completed in the 1960s.
Both were acquired by M State following Beck’s 2007 Retrospective Exhibit in the college’s Charles Beck Gallery.
The James J. Hill House exhibit, entitled Charles Beck: An Artist for All Seasons, runs at the St. Paul museum until Feb. 24 and includes more than 40 prints, paintings and carvings that celebrate Beck’s career.
In its description of the exhibit, the James J. Hill House writes, “Beck’s brilliantly colored, iconic woodcut prints are instantly recognizable. Combined with his paintings and wood carvings, Beck’s work reflects his deep commitment to the observed world.”
From 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, Beck’s friends and family will celebrate him in a gallery talk and book signing with Amy Sharpe, author of “Charles Beck: The Nature of an Artist.”
The James J. Hill House is operated by the Minnesota Historical Society and is open daily, except on holidays.