“My rule is: if you can draw and design it, you can build it.” Judson Beaumont (1959 – 2020)
BC Achievement recently introduced the inaugural Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist designation as part of the annual Applied Art + Design award program, paying tribute to Beaumont’s legacy, talents, and entrepreneurial creativity. Known for his enthusiasm, kindness, and generosity, Beaumont exemplified the meaning of excellence and continues to shine as a model of success and inspire other applied artists and designers in British Columbia and beyond.
For more than 30 years, Beaumont created whimsical, imaginative, and masterful furniture pieces. Inspired by kids and their liberal acceptance of the bizarre, Beaumont’s work was renowned for its bold, colourful, expressive, functional design. A graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Beaumont founded Straight Line Designs Inc. His company completed unique design projects and installations throughout North America and worldwide, including pieces for children’s hospitals, airports, museums, libraries, Disney Cruise ships, and various exhibitions.
In 2009, Beaumont received the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design. Five years later, he was recognized as the 2014 Award of Distinction Laureate for his extraordinary and sustained Applied Art + Design accomplishments. In 2015, Beaumont was a key part of the Canada House exhibition – Design in Canada: Outstanding achievement from British Columbia, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Carter Wosk program and its awardees. The exhibition was part of the September 2015 London Design week.
A long-time friend of BC Achievement, Beaumont served as a jury member for the 2018 Carter Wosk Award program and as a moderator at the 2019 BC Achievement Artist Talk on ‘The Intersection of Applied Art and Design: Functional Art and BC’s Creative Economy.’
It was at that 2019 Artist Talk that Beaumont shared his artistic passion and what aspect of his work makes him get up each morning:
“For me, I’m a nut because I can’t wait to work in the morning. I just absolutely love it – I’m nuts for it. I’m up before my alarm at 5:00 am, go for a quick run, then I’m back down at my studio, I’m drawing, I’m sketching and planning the day. Planning for my clients and what they’re expecting, and then my staff comes in, and I get them set up. I love that time from 6:00 am – 7:30 am when I have time to be by myself – where I have time to be creative – I just love it – it’s been like that for 30 years!”
A mentor to many aspiring artists and designers, Beaumont enjoyed sharing his experiences and ideas with students.
“I tell young people you’re going to have ups and downs, successes and failures, but you just need to learn from it; you just need to keep moving ahead.”
When asked what receiving the award from BC Achievement had meant to him, Beaumont stated: “[awards] give you confidence. They’re just little points to say, ‘stick with it, keep doing it, good or bad.’ We all have bad days, and we all have good days in the art world. You just don’t stop; you can’t stop. The awards are just like icing on the cake; it’s a little extra thing that makes us special.”
The Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist Designation recognizes that a thriving cultural community includes artists and designers who build their careers in BC. The award intends to bring recognition and awareness to artists who demonstrate excellence in the early phase of their careers.
An insatiable drive for excellence fuelled Beaumont’s ability to commit 110% to every task he undertook. He distinguished himself as a leader in his field by combining his talent and skills with passion, determination, and commitment.