Fine Arts Lecture Series: Sculptor Jake Beckman

CBS Auditorium

The Sculpture program presents a talk by sculptor Jake Beckman.

As a child growing up outside Cleveland, Ohio, Beckman developed a fascination for the rust-belt landscape and the poetry contained within its crumbling fragments. His work explores themes of transformation, process and legibility as he grapples with the relationship between labor, value and substance. Beckman is interested in the origins of our manufactured environment, as well as a concept of the displaced and abstracted landscape; a landscape in which earth and rock are mined, crushed, sintered, shipped and recompiled into an ordered system of buildings, cities and bridges. He uses the visual language of industry, as well as the raw ingredients of the built environment — coal, stone, ore, etc. — to explore the memory of a time when Americans were more intimately connected to the processes that constructed and sustained their material surroundings.

Beckman has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows, including at Spaces Gallery and the Sculpture Center in Cleveland, Ohio and the RISD Museum in Providence, R.I. He completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Neb. A recent project, "rotaflora," was installed in 2010 and was awarded the Trails and the Arts Award from the American Trail Association.  

He graduated with a BA in Art from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and completed his MFA in Sculpture with honors at the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives and works in Philadelphia and is currently a visiting professor at Swarthmore College and the Community College of Philadelphia.

Above: "No More," rubber, coal, fabric, wood, 5' x 11' x 3'

Hamilton Hall
320 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

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