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B. 1961

Ray Beldner is a sculptor and mixed-media artist whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Beldner states he started making art out of money because, as an artist, educator, and part-time art appraiser, he was often asked to assign an economic value to his artwork or others’ work. He further elaborated, “money is an icon, a myth, a metaphor, a collectible, a talisman, a commodity, a means to an end, and much more. Money is ubiquitous, yet we never seem to have enough. It is a common object of desire, and we care greatly about its worth, yet we rarely reflect on its true value.”

The Riemers describe Beldner’s piece, This is Definitely Not a Pipe, as a “signature” piece in their collection as it blurs the lines of reality. The artwork was inspired by French artist René Magritte’s famous painting by the same title, but in French (Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe). Like Magritte’s piece, Beldner’s work also questions representation and perception. Beldner takes this line of questioning a bit further by using currency as his medium. As part of his Counterfeit series that includes remakes of famous artwork in currency by Andy Warhol, Marchel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, and others, Beldner aimed to broaden the discourse about the value of art and its role in the American Dream. To Beldner, the Riemers’ collection is a catalyst for those discussions.

Each object in his Counterfeit series was made to the exact scale and dimensions as the original work it references. Unlike Magritte’s work, which was painted, Beldner’s is constructed with real money and assembled on a sewing machine using traditional craft processes of sewing, applique, and quilting to question the value of low vs. high art. To him, artworks considered “craft,” like quilting, involve techniques equally as interesting and important to the contemporary art world discourse as fine art processes like painting, drawing, and sculpting.

Born in San Francisco, Beldner received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from Mills College. His can be found in many public and private collections, including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C., 21c Museum, Kentucky, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Oakland Museum of California, and the San Jose Museum of Art, among others. Beldner currently lives and works in Sutter Creek, CA.


Myrtle Beach’s Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum strives to be one of the finest visual arts museums in the Carolinas. With 11 galleries that change throughout the year, Myrtle Beach’s only art museum offers exhibitions featuring paintings, textiles, sculpture, photography, video, ceramics, assemblage, collage and more. A visit to the Art Museum’s exhibitions can be enhanced by its lively programming, including artist receptions, tours, lectures, workshops and classes for both adults and children.