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Exhibit of former M State instructor's work offered at Fergus Falls campus through Oct. 31

A special exhibit honoring Charles Beck's contributions to the community and to the Fergus Falls campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College, where Beck taught art from 1960 until 1987, is currently on display at M State's Waage Gallery.

Beck, a Fergus Falls native famous for woodcuts that reflect the landscapes of rural Minnesota, passed away Sept. 12 at the age of 94.

While an instructor at the college, Beck inspired the creation of the permanent art collection for which the campus is now known when he suggested that students leave behind a piece of art they'd created while at the college. In time, the college began exhibiting the work of area artists and purchasing pieces for the college's growing collection.

Thirty years after he retired from teaching on the Fergus Falls campus, M State ceramics instructor Lori Charest said "art is in abundance on this campus. It livens the offices, classrooms and hallways in celebration of human creativity."

Beck's legacy also continues through the Charles Beck Endowment Fund, created in 2007 to support a scholarship for a second-year visual arts student and to provide funds to increase and sustain the college's permanent art collection.

Charest said the collection of Beck's work now on display represents the many seasons of his artistic career, from his early drawings and paintings to abstract work and his familiar landscapes. He continued to create until about two months before his death.

"Take time to reflect and be grateful for the artist and the beauty he has brought to this campus and to the area," said Charest, sharing a favorite Beck quote:

"Nature is all about us. The never-ending cycle of the seasons stimulates the senses. One must only look... to experience the patterns, textures, and the colors of the land and sky, the hills and woods, the weeds and flowers. My hope is that in some small way I have helped open the eyes of others to this diversity, to this mystery. "

The exhibit will be open through Oct. 31 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Waage Gallery at the Fergus Falls campus.

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