'Charles Beckendorf Day' proclaimed by city, state

Pictured at a Saturday reception were family members of the late Fredericksburg artist Charles Beckendorf, including sons, Joe Beckendorf, left, and Scott Beckendorf, right, and widow Dawn Beckendorf. – Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

Tuesday was “Charles Beckendorf Day” in Fredericksburg, and fans, friends and representatives from local government celebrated the late artist for his iconic Texas art over the past five decades.

“He loved doing his art,” said son Scott Beckendorf at a reception held Saturday ahead of the proclamation day. “When he started doing prints, not that many artists were doing it at the time.”

To see Fredericksburg’s vibrant art scene with more than a dozen local galleries, it is hard to imagine that Beckendorf took a chance to sell his art.

Beckendorf grew up in Mathis, Texas, where he had permission to wander freely on large ranches, observing wildlife, becoming caught up in the flora and fauna of the Lone Star State.

While he was rarely without a sketchbook, one of his art teachers admonished that “he would never amount to anything” if he just sat around drawing. But after high school, he studied his craft at the University of Corpus Christi, Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State) and, later, the University of Texas in Austin. He paused for a stint in the Air Force.

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