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Meet Factory Mark Gallery’s Next Artist: William Van Beckum

We are thrilled to introduce one of Factory Mark Gallery's newest featured artists, William Van Beckum. Will is a landscape artist who will be showcasing his newest body of work, "Scenic Kiosks," as part of our Look Here exhibit. Here are four things to know about him:

1. He studied cinematography in college

Though he has a minor in photography, Will went to Emerson College to study cinematography and filmmaking. Post-graduation, he moved out West to Los Angeles to begin his career in film. Will quickly decided that LA wasn’t for him, and it was then that he chose to make the jump into photography, moving to Colorado to spend a summer getting exposed to different photographic techniques at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center before starting a career at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.

2. Social media drives his artwork

Will has produced an eight-part art installation along the New England Scenic Trail’s (NET) in both Connecticut and Massachusetts. The installation is made up of kiosks displaying iconic views of the NET through appropriated images that visitors to the trail have posted on Instagram. He downloads images he finds on the social network, Photoshops them, prints them out, and then arranges them together into a large-scale presentation for visitors of the NET to engage with. Check out #myNEtrail on Instagram to see what hikers have contributed to the project, and visit the eight trailhead installations on view around New England until October 31.

3. He is inspired by Ansel Adams

For his “Scenic Kiosks” installation, Will drew inspiration from the scenic imagery of the American conservation movement created by artists including Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. He became fascinated by the cultural response to these iconic landscape artists, which influenced his research into the societal value of landscape artwork.

4. Photography is not his only medium

While photography is still the largest presence for Will, he does use many other mediums for his various pieces. During his studies, he learned how to incorporate different mediums, including sound art, video, and sculpture, to name a few. In fact, his master’s thesis exhibition included photos and videos displayed on 50 wall-sized sheets of acetate, 10 tablets, 15 smartphones, and two TV monitors.

To learn more about the Factory Mark Gallery, visit www.factorymarkgallery.com.