Kittitas County artist takes a bite of Big Apple

via Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — Remember that giant rhinestone bear at the Larson Gallery last fall?

Well, the guy who made that bear is an artist in Thorp (that little town just west of Ellensburg) named Justin Beckman, and he’s got a show called “Rural Famous” opening Friday at Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward gallery.

For purposes of full disclosure, I’ll tell you now that Beckman is a good friend of mine. I was a groomsman at his wedding last summer. But that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this because a Central Washington artist with a solo show in a New York gallery is a pretty big deal, and because, friendship aside, the guy does really cool work. I mean, just take a look at that bear.

The show opening tonight is full of typical Beckman themes — the urban-rural dichotomy, nostalgic views of the Old West and notions of masculinity. Also, just in case you’re in New York and thinking about attending, there will be beer. There’s always beer at a Beckman party.


– Pat Muir


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