Show Preview | Kathy Beekman

Evergreen, CO
Evergreen Fine Art, August 2-30

Kathy Beekman, Summer’s Day, pastel, 24 x 22.

Kathy Beekman, Summer’s Day, pastel, 24 x 22.

This story was featured in the August 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Growing up on the edge of a Midwestern farming community, artist Kathy Beekman developed a great appreciation for quiet, open spaces. The landscapes of her childhood memories are usually dotted with old, rickety barns—buildings that seem to echo with sounds of past generations who lived and worked on the surrounding land. Today, the Colorado-based artist maintains a “real nostalgia for barns and open spaces,” something that is evident in her paintings, which often combine peaceful images from her Midwestern life with the stunning landscapes and big skies of the West. “My paintings mostly depict real places, but I combine a lot of different photos—plus a bit of my imagination—to create the scene I end up with,” she says. This approach often leads to a sense of “having been there” in the viewer. “People often identify with a particular painting because it provides a sense of place for them,” Beekman explains, adding that this is precisely the reaction she hopes to achieve—and it’s also the inspiration behind the title of her solo show.

A Sense of Place opens with an artist’s reception from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 2, at Evergreen Fine Art. The show includes more than 20 new works featuring the contemporary barn-scapes Beekman is known for, plus a few paintings of landscapes without structures. All of Beekman’s works are created in soft pastels on black paper, a method she discovered years ago that “really makes the colors pop.” In fact, most of the works in this show have a bright, happy quality that leaps out at the viewer. “I tried to stay away from darker imagery for this body of work,” Beekman says. “I want to give people a good feeling when they walk into the gallery, like they’ve been given a breath of fresh air.”

Gallery director Doug Kacena believes Beekman’s work will evoke a variety of “good feelings” in viewers. “Kathy’s visual language is clean, bold, and elegant,” he says. “She captures the essence of the rural western landscape and dwellings in a simplified, minimalist, and whimsical manner, allowing the viewer to truly identify with a sense of place in her work.” —Lindsay Mitchell

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Featured in the August 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art August 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!