Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
Dylan Beck began his college career in forestry, offering somewhat is a backing for his current ceramic explorations of "the interaction of built space with the natural environment and th... Dylan works within themes of human manipulation of the world to fit their needs. The social and political responsibilities of artist are something of an individual basis he says, there is not one prescription.
Dylan teaches at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas where he was awarded a Sustainable Concept Grant for the ceramics department. Dylan teaches and leads by example while he works and lives as sustainably as possible. He uses recycled materials in his work including, scrap wood, packing materials, and he fires at low temperatures, once firing most everything. For the grant, he worked with Steve Bells, a graduate student, to build sustainable kilns. They collaborated with engineers to develop a new recuperative air system (warmed air that combusts more efficiently), installed oxygen probes for more controlled firings and used recycled bricks to reduce fuel usage and save on materials.
When asking Dylan how he judges "success" he describes his method of taking an abstract concept and making a physical object that is critical of an idea but also beautiful. For example, an aerial photographs of the BP oil spill- it is aesthetically beautiful but harmful and toxic. With this, one can lure the viewer closer through the beauty, but then reveal a strong concept behind the work. And of course, a work is successful when the impact is larger and stronger than he thought it could have been.
Dylan credits his past teachers and mentors who have influenced his teaching style and philosophies as an artist and thinker. Among them are Brad Schweiger, Paul Sacarides, Tyler Lotz, Nicholas Kripal, and Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts.
What is Dylan reading?