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

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Mike Marth

June 21, 2018 - October 7, 2018
This is Not a Still Life

This is Not a Still Life explores the multiple dimensions of Moorhead (MN)-based artist Mike Marth’s artwork and its remarkable evolution. Exhibiting a mastery of materials, Marth’s work is often formal in nature, emphasizing its inherent qualities of form, style, symbolism, and texture.

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Flatlander

June 7, 2018 - September 15, 2018
Belonging to the Land 

Flatlander: Belonging to The Land is a series by artist John Hitchcock that views and comments on the Great Plains as the epicenter for Plains tribal culture. In the series, Hitchcock utilizes drawing and printmaking processes to convey and layer thoughts about removal, displacement, and belonging.

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John Hitchcock: Protectors

June 7, 2018 - September 15, 2018

Protectors, a screenprint installation by artist John Hitchcock, uses multiple screenprinted images of bison skulls mounted on a background of Naugahyde pelts. The pelt forms suggest landmasses, and each element connects to the environment through form, placement, and symbol.

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Lakota Emergence

May 31, 2018 - September 1, 2018

Curated by Dr. Craig Howe from the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS) in Martin, South Dakota, Lakota Emergence focuses entirely on the Lakota emergence narrative as recorded in “How the Lakota Came Upon the World,” published in 1917. The place of Lakota emergence is centered at Wind Cave in what is now known as the Black Hills in South Dakota.

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Now You See Me . . .

May 24, 2018 - March 23, 2019
Reflections on Portraits and Abstractions from the Collection

If one looks closely and listens carefully, works of art can ask important questions that elicit understanding of our world. For example, what societal factors influence how an artist depicts another person?

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