Judy Beck drops by Samo nearly every Wednesday morning. Beck wears a visitor’s badge, but she is here to teach. Art supplies, from the bizarre to the standard, are stored in the bags she brings to A103 — the AP art room.
“[Beck is] our art angel,” Samo art director Amy Bouse said.
Or perhaps a more apt description is “grandmother” or “Santa Claus,” two terms that AP art senior Joseph Heller used to explain how much Beck’s visits and art supplies have inspired and delighted he and his peers.
Beck donates her time in order to educate the students about different fine arts techniques. In the process, showing them her unique outlook on art and helping students develop their own.
“It’s important for us because [Beck’s teachings] really broadens our view on art,” junior Rashel Alvarez Zakson said.
According to Bouse, because the art program is terribly underfunded, having Beck is tremendous for the program.
“She’s very generous with supplies and time,” Bouse said, “It’s helpful for the students to have another artist’s perspective.”
Beck comes in every week with a new technique, and materials. Beck has brought a variety of supplies, such as scratchboards, Sumi-e (an Eastern Asian type of ink wash painting), charcoal and pastels.
“One time she brought us canvases, another time she brought in Japanese ink. She gives us many materials to experiment with,” senior Ella Rogers-Fett said.
However, Beck has transformed more than just student’s art supplies and styles. She has also altered their perspective on learning.
Rather than being motivated by monetary gain, Beck works for free, hoping to provide guidance to young artists.
“I love helping here because I wouldn’t be where I am without having had help from my own teachers,” Beck said.
According to Beck, art doesn’t come with a right or wrong answer. Art can hang on the expansive walls of the Louvre in France or on the door to your fridge in your kitchen. Both have the potential to be equally beautiful, complex and intriguing. Beck believes that discovering art in this way takes both a creative and intelligent brain. Beck’s mind was first lit up by art at the age of three.
When she was in school, teachers instantly recognized her talent and throughout the years, motivated her to focus on her art. She attended Massachusetts College of Arts, and graduated with a major in painting.
“Along the way, teachers and family friends helped me with my art,” Beck said.
Throughout Beck’s career in artistry, she has had a plethora of opportunities. After college, she began working for a greeting card company designing cards painted with babies and flowers. Beck went on to work in both advertising and graphic designing. Soon afterwards she started her own design firm.
Through her passion for art Beck experienced the multifaceted spheres of designing and advertising. However, Beck’s passion for travelling took her further—all the way around the world. Beck has worked for several hotels and tourism boards centered in Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti.
Most people work a normal five to nine job and cash a paycheck the first Friday of the month. Beck lives and breathes art. She works both professionally as an artist and devotes her spare time and artistry to volunteering at Samo and St. Johns Hospital inspiring all of those around her.
“J.B. is an amazing person. We all love her,” senior AP artist Doreen Farahdel.