British Columbia

Funky East Van furniture designer Judson Beaumont dies at 59

Tiko Kerr is a longtime friend and coworker of Judson Beaumont. He spoke to CBC about the void Beaumont's death will create in the local arts community.

The late artist's works are a big draw in Eastside Culture Crawl

Judson Beaumont, founder of Straight Line Designs, died at the age of 59. (Sheryl MacKay/CBC)

Vancouver designer Judson Beaumont — whose wacky and whimsical furniture pieces often highlighted the annual Eastside Culture Crawl — has died at the age of 59.

Tiko Kerr is a Vancouver artist who worked with Beaumont at Parker Street Studios in East Vancouver for 30 years. He spoke to On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko remembering the "wonderful trusting relationships" that the Saskatoon-born designer had developed with him and other fellow artists that made them all "cohesive."

"He just had a capability of really learning in the present and being one of the most positive human beings you could possibly imagine. There's nothing that's more appealing in life than an artist who is really connected to his creativity, and Jud had been in that position for his entire practice."

This grandfather clock takes a seat while it checks the time. (Judson Beaumont)

Beaumont's works a big draw in Culture Crawl

Macarenko said Beaumont's studio Straight Line Designs has been a "big draw" of the Culture Crawl. Kerr said the designer's death will leave a huge void in the annual artistic event.

"Jud's studio was the locus of it all. He and his wife Kate would bend over backwards providing stacks of goodies, and it was a really comfortable big, open, warm and inviting space."

Beaumont donated his art pieces to charitable organizations including Arts Umbrella. Macarenko said she remembered him as the longest-ever donating artist at the Arts Umbrella Splash auction. 

Beaumont is well known for his whimsical style of furniture design, including a tired dresser sitting atop a mound of sand while it gazes at the open ocean. (Judson Beaumont)

Back in 2015, Beaumont worked with a local illustrator to create a children's book entitled Timberland Tales: Chester Gets a Pet, which features characters modelled after his furniture.

Beaumont was born in Saskatchewan in 1960. He graduated from Vancouver's Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 1985, the same year he founded his studio.

A poorly house-trained table relieves itself on a carpet. (Judson Beaumont)

Listen to the interview with Tiko Kerr on CBC's On The Coast:

With files from Jon Hernandez and North by Northwest


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