Charles Beck’s art reflects where he lives

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I smiled when the latest edition of the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine arrived in the mail. That’s yours truly perusing the publication in a very flattering image captured by my colleague Jeff Thompson.

There on the cover is a woodcut print of a clutch of multicolored fish houses on a Minnesota lake against a mauve sky. Crazy.

Wait.

I’ve seen lots of fish houses on Minnesota lakes and, come to think about it, along with the tar paper shacks there are also red ones, orange ones, and the blue one my late father used.

And the sky color? Of course I’ve seen tones of mauve.

When I met Fergus Falls artist Charles Beck who created the “Fish Houses,” print he explained, “I can show you the color of most of my skies in nature. . . early morning, sunset. . . you can find every color of the rainbow in the sky.”

You can hear more on my visit to Charles Beck’s home and studio in our new Minnesota Sounds and Voices report today on All Things Considered, and of course, you can find it at MPRNews.org anytime.

I’m more than a little embarrassed to confess I’d missed Beck’s art. After all, he’s only been creating his prints for more than 50 years. Most are landscapes of west central Minnesota, the area where he’s lived most of his life.

He turns 90 on January 31 and he still works most days in the studio attached to his home. Happy Birthday, Charles Beck.

By the way, if you’re in the mood for a road trip there’s a public reception honoring Charles Beck at the Kaddatz Galleries in Fergus Falls tomorrow, Saturday afternoon.

And this just in: You can watch an award winning film about Charles Beck right here.

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