Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Richard Beau Lieu, an established metal sculptor, was schooled in realism, yet abstraction has afforded him creative license.
He is the eldest of four children, born to Raymond and Estelle Beaulieu. He has two grown daughters, and a total of six grandchildren. He currently resides in South Florida. His parents, sister and eldest daughter also all live in Florida.
Beau Lieu's most popular works range in size from two to twelve feet, though his sculpture Liberty, or Victory Over Communism stands at over forty feet and weighs more than seven tons. Finished, but for its painting, it stands outside his studio wearing only a coat of primer. Where exactly the idea for this work came from, not even the artist can say. It is certainly abstract -- as is most of his work, but not nearly as lyrical. The lion's share of Beau Lieu's work, are painted in primary and secondary colors and are often interspersed with stainless steel and polychrome finishes and fashioned of extremely dense and rigid materials. Several of his institutional pieces are bronze figurative and are dedication sculptures for medical foundations.
His studies in art began in Massachusetts and concluded at Shaftesbury University in London, England with a Masters of Fine Arts degree. In 1980 he moved to Florida and founded Beau Lieu Sculpture Studios in 1984 in Boynton Beach, Florida. The area where his studio is located is known for the scenes and scents of common industry and it is here he creates sculptures and three dimensional, mixed media compositions in steel, aluminum and bronze.
Many of his early sculptures can be found in the northeast, most of which are located in Massachusetts and the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
As a sculptor he has paid special attention to world events and has marked such events with his work, such as the breakdown of communism in the late 80’s, which ended with fall of the Berlin Wall. He created a forty foot steel sculpture called Victory Over Communism. A steel sculpture called Reflections of Desert Storm is located at the Air National Guard base in Westfield, Massachusetts. Reflecting society's move towards spirituality as a means to dealing with social problems, Beau Lieu created a large steel sculpture titled The Spirit Guide, which is located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.
He has immortalized political leaders and famous artists of the past with homages to their significant contributions to their particular fields. Some of these include Marc Chagall, Kandinsky, Picasso, Winston Churchill, Gandhi, and Ronald Reagan.
In 1986 he received a commission from Starkoff Associates that resulted in two monumental sculptures being installed on the grounds of the Arvida Executive Center in Boca Raton. In 1988, another commission resulted in the production of seven sculptures of a marine or nautical theme, which were part of an underwater art exhibit to benefit The Center for Marine Conservation in Washington, D.C.
In 1989, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Florida Artist of the Year Award. He also received a 1990 award for Significant Contribution to the Arts in Education from the National Organization of Young Audiences, and in addition received a 1991 Resident Artist Award for his work with high school students by the Palm Beach County School Department.
Other awards include the Neighborhood Artist Residency Program Cultural Council Grant Recipient 1999; Outstanding Artist and Designers of the 20th. Century 2000; Decree of Merit, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England 2001; Meritorious Achievement in Art and Education, American Biographical Society 2001; The Mike Ryan Memorial, A Tribute to Veteran Hospital Volunteers, 2002.
Beau Lieu’s most recent commissions are the Boca Raton Community Hospital, Boca Raton, Florida "Volunteer Tribute" dedicated in 1998, and the “Tribute to Volunteers” at the Veterans Hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2002.
In 2001 he was approached by the City of Boynton Beach to organize the selection of an Arts Commission board and the writing of an Art ordinance, guidelines and recommendations to govern that ordinance. He was appointed by the mayor for a three year term as a board member, and now serves as chairman.
He is a twenty year member of the Palm Beach Cultural Council and a civic art leader. He sat on the selection committee for the Veterans Memorial Project and Wilson center memorial, a tribute to Carolyn Sims.
His affiliations include many art organizations and environmental groups. He has sat on the Faculty for the Armory Arts Center, West Palm Beach, Florida and the Art Advisory Board for Northwood University, Palm Beach, Florida.
In 2006 he was appointed as a certified professional fine art appraiser by the IFAA, International Fine Art Appraisers.
Beau Lieu is currently working on large scale sculpture for upcoming shows in the 2007 season and is working with local art organizations to promote public art in the South Florida area.
He is listed in Strathmore's Who's Who of outstanding business and professional leaders from 2002 to 2005.
A note about Richard Beau Lieu's signature:
Richard's work is signed "Beau Lieu". The reason for this split in his signature is that many years ago he realized some people could not pronounce his given family name of "Beaulieu", therefore he decided to break it up into two words. This seemed to help with pronunciation, as the two individual words were much more recognizable, and although this is no longer a problem anymore, it has become his unique signature.