Megan Beck, assistant director of student activities at the University of Minnesota Crookston, will be having an artist talk, that will be open to the public, on January 29, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. in the prairie lounge at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

    Beck, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin Stout (2016), is passionate about her work. She has a degree in contemporary jewelry and metalsmithing with a minor in art history.

    “I'm excited to tell people about the work I've created inspired by a historical Northwest MN building and how I've translated it into wearable artwork,” mentioned Beck.

    In the fall of 2018, Beck was awarded an artist fellowship grant of $5,000. This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council through funding from The McKnight Foundation.

    Through the grant Beck was able to purchase various materials and tools to have a safe and functioning metalsmithing studio and create a new body of work to build upon her skills and portfolio. Beck’s new body of work is inspired by The Fournet building located in downtown Crookston.

    Beck had the opportunity to tour of the Fournet building in the fall of 2017 through Leadership Crookston.

    “I knew that would spark my new body of work. I loved all the old peeling wallpaper and the pastel colors throughout the building. It was so unique and ornate and I couldn't wait to get started on some ideas,” stated Beck.

    Beck did not have a safe or working studio until she was able to rent one downtown. Through the grant, Beck was able to get equipment to make sure she had a studio with proper ventilation so she could ensure she was making her work safely.

    Beck stated, “My current work is a reflection of my interactions with surfaces in surrounding environments. I am interested in how society translates surfaces, patterns and colors into intimate details and how they mirror identities. Much like the exterior of a wall, we seek nonverbal communication through what we put on our bodies. This investigation has led me to examine the preciousness of surfaces, and explore how they communicate to the viewer or wearer through their facade."

    Some content shown during the open talk may not be suitable for all viewers (previous work will be shown that was photographed on nude models).