Jess (Rebecca) Beyler


BFA Alumni

Major: Painting

Graduation Year: 1982

Artist Statement:

1. Light
2. Space
3. Gravity
4. Velocity
5. Impact
6. Magnitude
7. The hopelessly interrogated heart
8. The obdurate flame


I started college at Schiller European University in Strasbourg, France, received my BFA from Maine College of Art and my MFA from the University of Iowa.

After graduation I did not find the prevailing winds of the academic art world to be supporting my direction so I looked for alternate creative communities. I found them among dancers and research scientists. I lived a double life, painting in private studio practice, and dancing first with Chester Wolensky (of the Jose Limon Co. ) at the White Street Art Center, later with the Ram Island Dance Company of Portland Maine.

At age 42 I experimented with karate, and found, much to my surprise, that I enjoyed playing with raw power. Eventually I received my second degree black belt from the Japan Karate Association in Chicago, where I also taught. During those years, several collectors found me. Their passion for my work encouraged me to show more widely.

I have shown my work in galleries across the country, including Chicago, New York, Portland Maine, Kansas City, and Champaign-Urbana Illinois, where I currently live.

I have been awarded 3 artist’s residencies, one in North Adams MA, and two from the Vermont Studio Center.

In 2015 I received a Here and Now Artist’s Grant from the City of Urbana.