Beth Nybeck, artist/sculptor, answers The Pitch‘s questionnaire

Name: Beth Nybeck

Occupation: Artist/sculptor

Hometown: Dubuque, Iowa

Current neighborhood: Downtown metro

What I do: I’m living my dream! I make large- and small-scale metal sculpture. Most of my work lives within the public realm: in parks, airports, cities and college campuses. My work is abstract, tactile, interactive, and brings energy to an environment. I design and build all my work. I’m filthy all the time, my hands are not girlie, and I love tools.

What’s your addiction? Sweets! I don’t discriminate, either. Pie, ice cream, chocolate, cookies, candy – I love it all. I also love homemade bread and have been known to take down a loaf at a time. Besides things food-related, I’m addicted to list making, editing and rewriting my to-do list. I have more lists than accomplishments at the end of most days.

What’s your game? I’m not going to lie, I love bingo. It almost always involves meeting and socializing with new people!

What’s your drink? The Rieger Hotel has a phenomenal bourbon drink called the Columbus Park. My classic favorite is an Old-Fashioned.

Where’s dinner? My top three picks are Voltaire, Füd and Town Topic.

What’s on your KC postcard? River Market on a Saturday morning. People milling around everywhere, walking dogs, tons of conversation, coffee, and sun just peeking out!

Finish this sentence: “Kansas City got it right when … ” Locals supported local grassroots efforts. KC has got it right in this area, not only in the arts. I think it is most evident in our restaurants, bars, bakeries and coffee shops – local chefs and entrepreneurs with dreams that people love to support. We have such insanely ballsy and creative people dreaming and doing, and our city supports it! So however that happened, other cities should figure that out.

“Kansas City screwed up when … ” They decided not to build the Royals stadium downtown.

“Kansas City needs … ” More infiltration of suburbanites into the cultural scene downtown. We have incredible things happening in KC, and people in the thick of it know about it. More adventurous explorers from the outskirts are definitely welcome!

“In five years, I’ll be … “ Gosh, still alive, in love and making art! The future is full of promise! I hope in five years, Justin and I will have our first child on the way, be a much better chef in the kitchen, have gallery representation in two major cities, and a home with some land and a garden!

“I always laugh at … “ I’m an easy laugh. Weird things lately have been cat beards (Google it); TV broadcaster bloopers; my pastor, Scott Chrostek; and I have a pretty aloof cat, Maverick – he gets a chuckle from me daily.

“I’ve been known to binge-watch … ” I don’t own a television, so I don’t watch a whole lot of TV or movies. I will occasionally binge-watch shows online: The Office, House, Chicago Fire and The Mindy Project are on my list.

“I can’t stop listening to … “ David Ramirez, the Head and the Heart, Josh Ritter, the National.

“I just read … ” Love Does by Bob Goff, a fantastic book, and I’m in the middle of Wild by Cheryl Strayed, and I would highly recommend both!

The best advice I ever got: I live my life by this advice: What is the worst anyone can ever say? Ask fearlessly.

Worst advice: I often hear people say, “You can’t do that,” which is such a damaging phrase people throw around. Rules are important to help maintain a sense of order. However, a good rule of thumb I employ is to think around what people conceive as normal, sensible and safe, artistically speaking.

My sidekick: “I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.”

My dating triumph/tragedy: I casually declined my now fiancé for months and months before he swept me off my feet on our first date.

My brush with fame: I recently purchased a hairbrush named “fame” and I use it on occasion.

My 140-character soapbox: Downtown parking! Between people who can’t or think they are above smart parking and the city planners who are rapidly decreasing parking places in the metro, this is a frustrating issue for me as a downtown dweller.

What was the last thing you had to apologize for? I make a lot of mistakes! I recently apologized to my fiancé for ruining one of his favorite sweatshirts when I wore it to the studio and accidentally started it on fire.

Who’s sorry now? I hope no one!

My recent triumph: I went to the Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, not to run but to support my better half. I ended up running the last 10 miles with him and was able to share a huge victorious moment together. I should add that I’m not a runner, nor have I ever run 10 miles in my life … ever. So without training, I was surprised I could move the next day. I will be completing my first triathlon this year, thanks to that experience that unveiled a capacity I didn’t know I had!

See Beth Nybeck and five other speakers at TEDxWyandotte: “Idea Generation(s): Exploring what spurs innovative ideas,” 9 a.m. Thursday, February 20, in the Performing Arts Center at Kansas City, Kansas, Community College. 

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