Lorelei Beckstrom was born in Minnesota in 1967. After studying painting, sculpture, and graphic design for seven years, she relocated to Colorado in 1994, soon turning her focus exclusively to narrative figurative oil painting.
Beckstrom’s work has steadily evolved over the years- beginning with paintings and installations about the brain as a machine- canvases and rooms filled with twisting colored wires and painted and etched plexiglass which depended on light to create shadow images on all surfaces- virtual neural networks for the viewer to enter.
These wires soon led her into painting a series of wire walkers- exploring the human qualities of risk-taking, balance, and perseverance. As these performers were often shown high above crowds, newer paintings filled with staring audiences followed- confronting the viewer with the question of who is watching who- blurring the line between the observer and the observed.
Beckstrom’s more recent paintings used stuffed animals and Greek mythology to tell the stories of human tragedy. Others involved the use of giant rabbit heads on her painting’s models, playfully looking at the subjects of identity and anonymity. They urged us to think about the masks we wear and what we choose to allow the world to see in a non-threatening way. This work ended with a series of Nordic folk tales told through humans in her handmade animal masks.
A new body of work is underway- more highly-rendered multiple figure panels that address the interplay in human relationships and how we relate to our environment. Glowing lights and objects, flying machines, alien plants, and scientific instruments convey a sense of mystery while communicating something familiar.
Beckstrom wants to leave her visual storytelling open for interpretation, not packaging particular emotions or messages. Her work inspires curiosity; she wants us to wonder- and she leaves the door cracked just enough to peek in.
She has been dedicated to developing the arts culture in Colorado Springs, where she co-owned the award-winning Rubbish Gallery and currently works as gallery assistant/program director for the award-winning Modbo Gallery/ModboCo School of Arts.
In 2012 she was voted by the Colorado Springs Gazette as ‘Best Artist on the Rise’. She was featured in a cover story by the Colorado Springs Independent and awarded a Bronze Medal for ‘Best Exhibition’ for her 2013 solo show ‘Fluff’. The Colorado Springs Business Journal included her in their feature ‘The Best Artists of the Region’ in 2014. In the fall of 2015 she was awarded silver medal for best artist in the Colorado Springs Independent’s Best-Of.
Beckstrom has exhibited prolifically in Colorado, along with galleries in Minneapolis and Santa Fe. Her work resides in collections in the United States, Mexico, and England. She is represented by The Modbo in Colorado Springs and the Carla Wright Gallery in Denver.