Please help SMAC welcome our next gallery exhibit featuring the photography of Justin Beck (Hutchinson). This exhibit will be in the SMAC Gallery in downtown Marshall at 509 West Main Street from January 11 – February 23, 2024.
Justin is the recipient of an Individual Artist grant in 2022 specifically to frame this exhibit.
“Eulogies” Artist Statement
My work documents the rapidly changing face of rural America and examines how we shape our environments and communities. My primary interest is exploring rural places and studying the human influence on the landscapes that surround us. I feel a deep sense of belonging in these locations which helps inform my photographic style. I work primarily in black and white to give the audience a sense of displacement from reality and give the image a timeless look. The work offers audiences an escape from the speed of modern life to contemplate and inspire future possibilities for our rural landscapes and communities.
This set of 20 images is a study on the decay of structures in rural Minnesota and depicts their unique personalities. It is a photographic eulogy for a bygone era I would describe as the “American Dream”. Much of our modern architecture is monotonous, repetitive, and without character. This series of photos highlights an unmistakable identity that speaks purely to rural Minnesota. I hope to encourage and inspire audiences to be introspective about future possibilities for our landscape and rural communities.
Justin Beck Bio
I began my photography venture in 2016. I was initially interested in traditional landscape photography, but in traveling the backroads and small towns of Minnesota I discovered a new aesthetic of rural life that felt like home. I wanted to somehow convey those feelings through my photographs.
I also discovered great American photographers like David Plowden, Stephen Shore, and Walker Evans. These works solidified my dedication to the craft and helped to inspire and show me a path to the work I knew I needed to make.
I am a passionate advocate for rural communities and I spend a great deal of time exploring small towns which are often overlooked by most. I want my work to show people how great the cultural landscape of rural America truly is. To borrow a phrase from David Plowden, I am just trying to “stay one step ahead of the wrecking ball”.
I currently live and work in my hometown of Hutchinson, Minnesota.