Betty Beaumont

Betty Beaumont, a New York based artist, has continued for almost five decades to create sculpture, photography, installations, public interventions, and new media. She has received numerous awards including 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award from University of California at Berkeley, and Creative Capital, NEA, NYSCA and Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants. In addition to over 120 gallery exhibitions in Europe, Asia and the US, her works have been shown in numerous international museums including The Centre Pompidou-Metz (France), Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Alexandria, Egypt), National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto and Tokyo), Museum Het Domein (Sittard, Netherlands), Bibliotéca Nacional José Marti (Havana, Cuba), Letenske Plani (Prague, Czech Republic), the Whitney, Queens, Hudson River, and Katonah museums, and MoMA PS1. Beaumont has held academic appointments at the University of CA Berkeley, SUNY Purchase, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and NYU. Nancy Princenthal, Jeffrey Kastner, Brian Wallis, Lucy Lippard, and Michael Kimmelman are among those who have written texts on Beaumont’s work.

Project Description

Five years ago, I made the decision to create a website for my site-specific environmental works. This early work is marked by deep-seated social and ecological concerns, especially evident in Ocean Landmark (1978-80), an underwater garden (and active fishing ground) of 17,000 bricks that I cast from 500 tons of recycled coal fly-ash deposited 40 miles outside New York Harbor; A Night in Alexandria...The Rainforest...Whose Histories Are They Anyway...(1989), a thirty-two foot long wall of warehouse shelving with rolling library ladder, charred remnants of over two-hundred books I treated and burned, and an eighteen minute LED scanning text detailing the implicit genetic loss of the rainforest; and River Walk (1989), in which I led an interdisciplinary team under Europe's widest bridge built at the time of the Industrial Revolution to "cover-up" the historically polluted River Roch in Northern England. River Walk reveals that the Roch, though still thought to be tainted, today runs clear. The website was hacked in 2016 and this year, I have overcome the erasure and have come to see this as an opportunity to work on my Scanning and Media Transfer Project. 

My proposal for the Scanning and Media Transfer Project is to create digital files of thousands of images I have shot, and continue to shoot, over almost five decades. These digital files will be used to selectively print, to upload onto a website, to show in exhibitions, and to make into artist books. The files will also reside in a comprehensive database of my artwork. Once completed, these files will be used in tandem with a new website that broadly reflects my artistic practice and for possible exhibition prints, installations, and/or projections, as well as catalogs, and books—hopefully, all stimulating renewed interest in my work.