Artist helps paint future for HHS team through donation

This framed watercolor, painted by Martin Beauchamp, will be raffled off as part of the Hermiston cross-country team's fundraiser. The 22x28 depiction of Hermiston Butte is framed and valued at $500.

Martin Beauchamp has a simple philosophy: “Runners help runners.”

And so, the one-time high school running star is doing what comes natural. He’s doing his best to help high school runners of today have every chance possible to enjoy the opportunities that running presented for him some 30 years ago.

Some background: Beauchamp grew up in New York, earned a scholarship to the University of Florida, and also ran for Lane Community College and the University of Portland. After his competitive running days were over, he took up teaching, then moved to Colorado, where he started on his path as an artist.

Two years ago, he and his wife, Alie, moved to Hermiston. Alie is an information technology specialist; Martin is now a full-time artist, specializing in pastels and watercolors.

And they both have taken a special interest in coach Jake Puzey’s Hermiston High School cross country team.

“Jake and his wife (Jen) are two of the finest coaches I’ve met,” Beauchamp said. “What they do is amazing. They sink their heart and soul into that program, and the kids see that. You could see the results at the state meet (Hermiston won the state 5A title last fall).”

Beauchamp has done his part to play a role in that success. Because he still has connections in the running community, he’s been able to obtain a variety of gear for the team. He runs with them whenever possible.

And now, he’s donating one of his paintings as the lead raffle item as part of a fundraiser held in conjunction with the upcoming Butte Challenge. The money will go to help Hermiston High School runners attend summer running camps.

Beauchamp is rapidly earning a name as an accomplished artist. Some of his work is currently being shown in galleries on the coast, and the audience for his nature scenes continues to grow.

“Running is very similar to art,” Beauchamp said. “There are a lot of highs and lows. It’s not every day that you can step up to the easel and have great things happen.

“It’s like running in that sense. Some days you are in the zone. Everything comes together and it’s magic. And some days you have to battle through the tough moments.”

Beauchamp also believes running opened doors that might not otherwise have existed. It helped him get an education and travel the world.

Now he’s hoping to help open some of those same doors for Hermiston’s runners.

“To be able to help and give back, that’s very important for me,” Beauchamp said. “I think back on all the people who helped me over the years.

“The only way I can truly give back is to do that for the next generation.”

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