The Fergus Falls arts scene welcomes back Klara Beck

Klara Beck, Kaddatz Galleries

Klara Beck smiles. She was all set to graduate from high school, leave town and never come back.

Funny how life works.

Klara was recently hired as executive director of the Kaddatz Galleries, an art gallery housed in a refurbished turn-of-the-century downtown hotel in Fergus Falls.

Which, as you probably guessed, is her hometown.

It was a decision she and husband Andrew, her high school boyfriend, found surprising – but easy – to make.

It wasn’t only the fact they would be closer to family.  “There seems to be a more creative feeling to the town, people finding ways to energize the community that wasn’t here 10 years ago,” Klara said. “And there’s something about a small community that just feels comfortable.”

As a couple, the Becks had a taste of life in Minneapolis and Chicago. But they like the fact that you can “get somewhere in five minutes instead of 50.” And Klara’s take on Live Wide Open?  “To me, it means open-minded, open to changes and progress.”

That definition should serve her well as Klara hopes her art marketing background brings new ideas and enthusiasm to the gallery. You see, following graduation from St. Olaf College in 2012, Klara started her own consulting business called Artsourced. She worked with artists to get their work online with their own websites, navigate social media, communicate with patrons, and apply for grants. She even helped write a TedX speech.

That means the ideas are already flowing in her new job. Keep an eye out for unique art showings, more art workshops, kids’ classes and new digital marketing efforts.

Or, she says, stop by and offer your own ideas. “I’ve only been here a couple months, so there’s lots of options ahead. It should be fun,” she said.

Steve Henning