Local artist gives elementary students in life, art | VailDaily.com

Local artist gives elementary students in life, art

Art should be shared, and that's what local artist Dawn Beacon, center, is doing during a seminar at Stone Creek Charter School's Gypsum campus. Beacon joins Heidi Samudio, Angel Palacio and Manuel Gutierrez, as well as dozens of other Stone Creek students.
Randy Wyrick|randy@vaildaily.com |

Local artist Dawn Beacon spent a morning with Stone Creek Charter School students, helping them understand that art is pretty much creating something where there wasn’t anything quite like it before.

In this case, a bunch of words printed on small pieces of paper were piled in the middle of their tables. The kids picked two words each and drew whatever they had.

It’s like life.

“You never know what you’re going to get,” Beacon said.

Unlike life, it doesn’t really matter what you get because there’s no wrong answer.

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“Everything you draw is right,” Beacon told the students.

Dominick Macias got “grumpy” and “lion,” which he said was probably true of most lions.

Bryce Denson drew “star” and “boy,” which are both true in his case.

Angel Palacio is an overachiever and drew three words.

No, you don’t

One boy blurted out, “I suck at drawing!” Beacon eased quietly over to him and made him believe that, no, he does not and then showed him why and how to get better.

Art is like life. You can throw something together on the fly, but you’re much better off if you sketch it out first and give yourself some idea where you’re headed.

Beacon is a professional artist and has those days herself. She’s also one of the talented few who get paid to make art.

Among her many projects, she has illustrated 15 children’s books and created some of the official posters for the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships.

Modern communication technology being what it is, she has never met any of the authors she works with. Her agent in New York puts them together and email does the rest.

Ya gotta have art

The Stone Creek kids weren’t doing anything that required a New York agent to get involved, but when Beacon was their age neither did she.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be an artist,” Beacon said.

She was in the second grade when she started drawing on her schoolbooks. Her teacher knew talent when she spotted it.

“She helped me create book covers so I’d have a place to draw and so I didn’t wreck the books,” Beacon told the Stone Creek students.

She earned her B.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Following graduation, she moved to Vail, where she worked as a graphic designer and illustrator at newspapers, print companies and nonprofit organizations.

Besides their word art, the Stone Creek kids made aluminum foil fish to hang on the fence, because what good is art if no one sees it? The fish hang from the fence outside the school and can be seen by Costco shoppers and people flying into the Eagle County Regional Airport — because art should be shared.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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