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Rebecca Beebe's artwork was the first installment in a new monthly program to display work by local artists at the Wagner Community Library in Falls City.
October 03, 2012
FALLS CITY -- Name an art medium, and it's likely Falls City resident Rebecca Beebe has at least attempted to create something with it.
Whether it be painting or drawing portraits and landscapes, hand-sewn leather bags, jewelry, cartoons, greeting cards, calligraphy, poetry, intricate beadwork and pine needle basket weaving -- and even wooden flute carving -- Beebe has dabbled in just about everything.
Beebe's Native American heritage and spirituality is often featured in her creations, which include a tepee standing in her yard that she designed and built herself.
"I like to challenge myself because I never know what I'm capable of doing," she said. "You never know until you try."
Beebe, 70, has clearly been successful at most of what she's tried. What's even more impressive is that she's had minimal training.
"I'm self-taught," she said, adding that she's taken no formal art classes beyond high school.
Her artistic roots go back to childhood, when her mother took a correspondence art class. Her mother was drawing one of the family's dogs when Beebe became intrigued.
"I'm sitting there watching, saying `I think I can do that,'" Beebe recalled. "I took a piece of paper and a pencil and started following her hand motions. I just kept looking at it, thinking it didn't quite look like a dog. It looked like a donkey, so I would change it. I just kept working at it and working at it until it looked like a dog."
Awhile later, her mom discovered her daughter's talent and encouraged it, giving her pictures to copy.
Beebe remembers protesting, saying she didn't know how, but her mom persisted. "Just draw them," she said.
"I started drawing and I learned the value of a good eraser," Beebe said.
Since then, she doesn't remember a time when art wasn't in her life.
"It's just part of who I am," she said.
Beebe's art -- in its numerous styles and mediums -- was the first to be displayed at the Wagner Community Library as part of a program featuring Falls City artists.
Holly Kraus, the library director, proposed the idea, hoping to highlight the work of local residents throughout the school year.
"I just wanted to give them more exposure," she said.
Each artist is featured for a month, with their work displayed throughout the library.
Beebe, who has been involved in the Falls City Arts Council, hopes the program encourages others to indulge their artistic side. For her, doing so became a lifelong pursuit.
"I like being creative," she said. "You just forget about any problems you may have when you are engulfed in creating."
October's featured artist is Lilli Boettcher, with her Alaskan art and jewelry.
For more information or to have art displayed, call the library at 503-787-3521, ext. 319.