Richard Beard to be featured at DeKalb’s The Art Box

Staff Report

DEKALB, Illinois — “The Power and Beauty of Landscape Art,” an exhibition of acrylic paintings on Bristol board by Richard Beard, will be on display at The Art Box, 308 E. Lincoln Hwy. (Route 38) in downtown DeKalb, Illinois, from Jan. 28 through Feb. 25. An opening reception is scheduled for 2-4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 1.

Beard, professor emeritus of painting and drawing at Northern Illinois University for 30 years, retired in 1996 and died on the last day of January in 2012. This is an exhibition of paintings from four different bodies of work from 1980 to 1986. Although he would typically paint 20 to 25 paintings in a series, only a score of paintings will be on display.

Most people considered Beard’s paintings to be in the genre of Expressionism, which is art not based on objective reality but depicting spiritual experiences or subjective emotions and reactions to emotional phenomena. However, Beard believed his work was based upon his inner energy, and used photographs from his travels for content. Once the work had begun, the initial mark or stroke suggested the future character of the painting that is painterly, spontaneous, energetic and personal.

There is an inherent power and beauty in landscapes. He felt most free in these works, utilizing artistic elements — such as color, value, surface and space — because it was a release of energy, a sensation of feeling exuding vigorous health. The landscapes painted were sometimes abstracted, sometimes formalized. Other details such as a figure of a person, sailboats or a village, were also sometimes stated and incorporated in the composition of the landscape, becoming a part of the whole, although perhaps not always recognizable at first glance.

Beard earned a master of art degree in art history at the University of Wisconsin — Madison in 1951 and a Ph.D. in fine arts at The Ohio State University in 1963. He taught at various colleges and universities, and won many awards at numerous art exhibitions around the country. In 1983, he won a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship award. And also during the 1980s, Beard served as president of the union, representing the University Professors of Illinois, American Federation of Teachers. Paintings by Beard are in private, institution and corporate collections. See also Beard at

For more information, contact Daniel Grych at (815) 758-0313 or email The Art Box is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday.

Posted Jan. 29, 2015

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