21 Under 31 | Becca Bernstein

ROBBIE BURNS AT NIGHT, ACRYLIC, 36 x 24.
ROBBIE BURNS NIGHT, ACRYLIC, 36 x 24.

By Bonnie Gangelhoff


BORN: Walnut Creek, CA.

ART EDUCATION: Bachelor of fine arts in drawing from Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR, and an internship at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT THE WAY YOU WORK: “I like to create challenges, like painting on unusual surfaces or painting 100 miniatures by a deadline.”

FIRST ART SALE: “It was in 2003, and I sold one-third of my debut solo show on opening night.”

MANTRA OR MOTTO: “We all have one song in life. We just compose it differently each time we sing it.”

SECOND-CHOICE CAREER: Creative writer.

OTHER PASSIONS: Biking, traveling, and meeting neighbors.

QUIRKIEST TRAIT: “I can talk backwards fluently. I was on local radio and television in Sandy, UT, when I was 10. David Letterman’s people called my parents and wanted me to be on his show, but my parents said no. They didn’t want me to be a freak show.”

BIGGEST FEAR: Climate change.

FAVORITE STUDIO MUSIC: “The sound of my daughter napping over the baby monitor. It’s the only time I get to paint.”

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: “If the blank page is intimidating, crumple it before you start.”

PET PEEVE: Apathy.

FAVORITE ARTWORK BY ANOTHER ARTIST: The Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago.

PRICE RANGE: $1,000 to $6,000.

NEXT BIG GOAL: “To get into museum collections and get representation in New York City and Los Angeles.”

CREATIVE SPARK: Any change of perspective.

GALLERIES: Gottlieb Gallery, Portland, OR; Phoenix Gallery, Park City, UT; Gallery Heinzel, Aberdeen, Scotland; www.beccabernstein.net.


Featured in our annual “21 under 31″ feature in September 2008