Dylan Beck is an artist and educator living in Portland, OR. From 2013-19 he served as Associate Professor and Department Head of Ceramics and Digital Strategies at Oregon College of Art and Craft. From 2007-13 Beck was an Assistant Professor and the Area Coordinator of Ceramics at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. He earned his BFA from Ohio University, Post Baccalaureate Fellowship from Illinois State University, and MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. He has exhibited and lectured extensively and has published articles in Ceramics: Art and Perception, CFile, and the NCECA Journal. Beck has served on the boards of Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Artaxis.org, and NCECA and most recently serves on the board of directors for Rainmaker Craft Initiative.
Born in rural southeastern Ohio, Dylan Beck spent his childhood living between small town Ohio, inner city Columbus, and the wooded Hocking Hills. These diverse environments had a major impact on how he interprets landscape. As a teenager Dylan worked for his father’s home construction business which directly informed his use of materials and understanding of infrastructural development. His artwork explores the interaction of human activities with the natural environment and the idea that we are currently living in the Anthropocene, where human activities have had a significant global impact on the Earth's ecosystems.
My artwork explores the interaction of human activities with the natural environment and the idea that we are currently living in an epoch where human activities have had a significant impact on the Earth's ecosystems, known as the Anthropocene. In my studio practice, there is no hierarchy of material or method. I believe in a holistic approach to art making--an approach that balances aesthetic judgment, craftsmanship, concept, and material. I employ surrealism and psychedelic imagery to amplify the visual experience as a means of visual intoxication and persuasion. I acknowledge my implicit participation in the Anthropocene and enjoy the benefits of a material culture. Therefore, I situate my work between skepticism and veneration.