Charles Beck: 1923-2017

December 1, 2017 - February 6, 2018

The Ruth and Seymour Landfield Atrium

In 2017, the Northern Plains lost one of its most beloved artists – Charles Beck – at the age of 94, leaving an unrivaled artistic legacy. Beck attended Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) where he furthered his artistry under the influential painter Cy Running. His art studies were interrupted by World War II, where he enlisted in the Naval Air Corps to train as a pilot. On home for leave, Beck would marry Joyce Hagge, his wife of 69 years. The couple settled in Fergus Falls (MN), where Charles would become a sign painter, and eventually teach art for 28 years, at what is now Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Beck’s influence would be felt for decades to come, fueling an artistic renaissance on and off campus. As a life-long wood-carving printmaker and sculptor, as well as a skilled painter, Beck’s creative life epitomized his never ending work ethic. It was nature that inspired his unmistakable work, which distilled the complexity of the landscape to its essential shapes and colors. This earthiness is combined with a flat, modern aesthetic that inexplicably retains a sentimental quality. “Art is a lot like life,” Beck said to the Fargo Forum in 2013, “It’s a lot of little things that happen that you never planned on that can be nice, but you can’t sit back and wait for luck to take hold. You get lucky in the process.”

  • Charles Beck Winter 2, 1974 Woodblock Permanent Collection

Other Exhibitions

Mark Applebaum

February 1, 2018 - June 9, 2018
Picturing Music

“The Mad Scientist of Music,” a modern-day John Cage, and provocative integrator of art forms, Mark Applebaum masterfully crafts intricate visual artworks of signs and symbols that can also be interpreted and played by musicians.

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The Horse Nation

January 25, 2018 - May 14, 2018
of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ

The Horse Nation of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ explores how horses have shaped the history, spirituality, and culture of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota people of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ or Seven Council Fires.

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How Great I Am

January 9, 2018 - March 3, 2018
Tim Kowalczyk

How Great I Am will feature a series of recent trompe l’oeil  (deceive the eye) ceramic works by artist in residence Tim Kowalczyk.

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Charles Beck: 1923-2017

December 1, 2017 - February 6, 2018

In 2017, the Northern Plains lost one of its most beloved artists – Charles Beck – at the age of 94, leaving an unrivaled artistic legacy. Beck attended Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) where he furthered his artistry under the influential painter Cy Running. His art studies were interrupted by World War II, where he enlisted in the Naval Air Corps to train as a pilot.

View Exhibition

Plains School of Abstract Painting Annual Exhibition

October 26, 2017 - January 20, 2018
Plains School of Abstract Painting

Since 2011, a group of emerging and professional artists has met weekly at the Plains Art Museum and our Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity for a painting class led by one of Fargo’s most prominent and ambitious abstract painters, Marjorie Schlossman.

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