Artist Nathan Beard and the Complex Year of 2020

“There is a layer of Beard’s works that’s personal and a little mysterious,” AliveTampaBay wrote in late 2016 when we first met and profiled St. Petersburg artist Nathan Beard. We recently caught up with the talented artist, a positive force on the local arts scene, who writes that his paintings are “inspired by the human conception and experience of Space-Time.” The fine artist, whose studio is in St. Petersburg, shared two of his latest paintings, “Exit Music #97 (Bridgid’s Flame)” and “Exit Music #78 (Something in Common),” with AliveTampaBay as well as his thinking about the important role the arts play in contemporary society. See all of his work at Nathan Beard.

Exit Music #97 (Brigid’s Flame)”, acrylic on canvas, 12″ by 61″/Image courtesy of the artist

Nathan Beard:Exit Music #97 (Brigid’s Flame)” was conceived during the COVID stay-at-home period and forged in the weeks leading up to Summer Solstice. This painting is a meditation upon keeping the flame, forging strength through community, and resiliency in general. The subtitle Brigid’s Flame is inspired by the Celtic Goddess Brigid, an ancient triple-goddess of healing, poetry, fire, the forge, fertility, water, and the dawn. Later syncretized with the Christian Saint Brigit, her sanctuary at Kildare in Ireland holds her Eternal Flame. (“Cases of domestic violence have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. I will donate 20 percent of your purchase of this painting to CASA St. Pete,” the artist said. CASA provides services, outreach, counseling, and shelter, serving thousands of survivors of domestic violence in Pinellas County each year.)

“Exit Music #78 (Something in Common)”, 4-piece modular acrylic paint on canvas mounted to wood, dimensions variable/Image courtesy of the artist

Nathan Beard: “This piece is a modular work and made of four pieces that can be arranged and rearranged as one sees fit. Dimensions vary, but arranged in a rectangle, its smallest dimension is 35″ by 48”. Although this piece reflects the strain found in relationships with limited common ground, it also expresses hope that we will work hard to find that commonality, be able to continue the construction of a complex society that welcomes and treats all as equals, and recognize the important role the arts play in the development of individuals and society. (“I will donate 20 percent of the purchase of this painting to the Arts Conservatory for Teens,” the artist said. ACT’s vision is “to improve the quality of life for youth and teens in order to cultivate healthy, productive, and responsible citizens” by engaging “teens and young artists in the education of performing and fine arts.”)

See the November, 2016 Nathan Beard profile by AliveTampaBay Getting All He Gives: Nathan Beard

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St. Petersburg artist Nathan Beard employs a variety of processes to achieve complex, multi-layered paintings, drawings and collages inspired by the human conception and experience of Space-Time. He draws influence from the density and variety of Floridian flora, as well as chaos theory and fractal geometry.
The Colorado State University graduate has exhibited extensively since 2013, including at Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tampa Museum of Art, Highlands Museum of the Arts, Dunedin Fine Art Center, Morean Arts Center, Gallery 221, Gaze Modern, Olivet Nazarene University, and Brooker Creek Preserve. Nathan also serves as Assistant Curator at Dunedin Fine Art Center. See more of Nathan’s work at www.nathanbeardfineart.com and connect with him on Instagram @nathanbeardfineart. Contact the artist directly with purchase inquiries at nathanbeardfineart@gmail.com.

Photos of Mr. Beard courtesy of the artist
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