Autobiography at end of
MakingArt By Jack:
So, my history and credentials: In grade school teachers recognized an artistic bent and sent me to summer art school. During my early life I drew a lot in charcoal and pen and ink and did a large cartoon statue of Santa Claus riding a drone bee that was put at the entrance of an air force base in Florida.
But art was always on the back burner during the first half of my life. I was deeply involved otherwise and elsewhere. I earned four university degrees including one each from Harvard and the University of London, where I was a Fulbright Scholar. I was a U.S. Air Force officer, a Wall Street lawyer, taught law at Harvard and was later a tenured professor at Northwestern University. I formed, directed, and participated in several law and development research teams in African countries. I wrote and had published many articles in journals and 3 book treatises: First on law, and then on evolutionary biology and human behavior while teaching in the Anthropology Department of Northwestern.
In the 1980s it became clear that if I was going to pursue my apparent aptitude for art, I had better get with it. Already in my 50’s, I decided to make a clean break. I withdrew completely from academia and became a full-time artist—soon concentrating on sculpture. At this writing I have been at it for 22 years.
My academic nature pushed me assiduously to read art history and biographies of artists when I was not actively producing sculpture. I have visited all the major art museums of the Western World.
My art output is permanently installed in a gallery/museum in Chicago. See the gallery section of this site.
I am currently the Vice President of Chicago’s Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, where my workshop is located.
Given the way my life has evolved, I should relate an interesting coincidence. I was photographed, at age 6, with the sculptor of Mt. Rushmore as he gave instructions to stonecutters about to ascend to the presidents’ faces in a cable car. Notice that we both were wearing bandanas. Artsy clothing?
John H. Beckstrom,
author, a.k.a., Jack