Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Loretta Bebeau - Painter

Loretta Bebeau

Loretta Bebeau creates wall-based art, and is past President of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA). She has a Master of Arts degree focused on Sociology and Visual Art. Her studio is located in the Northrup King building (NKB) since moving out of the warehouse district in 2003. She exhibits in her studio and out of state.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?

I’m currently making nine-part grids, influenced by the game Tic Tac Toe
. The grid material is Sheetrock, with graphite drawings on the surface. This work explores communication patterns. Past projects have been of recycled paper, formed into collage, assemblage, or cast paper pulp. The consistent thread in my art is related to personal growth. My work is conceptual. I can draw a landscape, but have a strong urge to rebel. The materials are quotidian; they challenge the established norm, but retain a bit of tradition when the art medium is added. As an art instructor it’s my duty to “expand the field” and that sometimes means challenging it. Recycling materials has been part of my philosophy since 1979, and it’s great to see the current respect for that concept.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

“Pay attention to the work.” from Hopkins artist Nancy Randall (

My advice: Always credit your sources. Visual artists author intellectual property. If you see my work at my studio, you should mention how it influenced your paintings, or changed your style. I’ve learned that artists are too independent and need to build that web of history for personal survival.

Tell me about your working space and your creative process?

My working space is shared with two other artists. I’m usually there alone because they have home studios too. They have completely different aesthetic philosophies, but I like the diversity. Two-thirds of the space is mine and I work on several projects at once.

Which Minnesota artists do you enjoy?

Jantje Visscher - conceptual painting/sculpture/installations. She uses three materials: plastic, nails, and a light bulb to create fantastic experiences.
Tom Rose - conceptual sculpture/installations.
Anastasia Ward - conceptual sculpture
Christopher Baker - video/installations
But there are many other artists still active and working under the radar.

If I were to follow you around on an “art day” in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?

I start from Northeast Minneapolis to the Soap Factory, head over to MAEP or MCAD, then to a smaller gallery like XY&Z, perhaps Ancient Traders or Franklin Artworks, then to the North Loop’s Circa, Form & Content, Thomas Barry, or Traffic Zone galleries.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?

I look at Chelsea Galleries in NYC, anything else is by chance.

Do you have any exhibits or any interesting things going on in your life or coming up in the near future?

Four of my grids were exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, from June to September of 2010. I’ve been invited to show one or two of them at the Armory in March, 2011.

I’m preparing for an exhibit at 801 Gallery on Washington Ave North in 2012, another in Wisconsin, and there are several proposals pending.

Loretta Bebeau

No comments: