Combat Artist Chip Beck Goes to Gettysburg



Listen to the Big Blend Radio discussion with Tanya Ortega – Photographer and Founder of National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) and Chip Beck – editorial cartoonist, combat artist, photographer and freelance writer. Chip will NPAF’s artist-in-residence at Gettysburg National Military Park, from in November 2017.

Chip Beck, a retired US Navy Combat Artist and editorial cartoonist, has depicted more than 20 wars on four continents from 1969 to 2011, including conflicts in Africa, Indochina, the Middle East, and Central and South America. He is a member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, a past Board Member of the National Cartoonists Society, an active member of the Loudoun Sketch Club, and founder of Political Graphics Service in Arlington, Virginia.  From 1986—1991, he was the staff editorial cartoonist for the Northern Virginia Sun. 

From 2005-2010, he was the Director of the State Department’s African peacekeeper training program (ACOTA), working with 25 African Union (AU) Troop Contributing Countries, including the AMISOM contingents in Mogadishu, and recorded historical and political events on the continent with his camera, pencils, pens, and paints. Prior to that Beck was the U.S. Navy’s official combat artist in Operation Desert Storm as well as an on-site but unofficial artistic chronicler of history in some 20-war zones from Vietnam (1969) to Iraq (2003-2005), and Haiti (2012-2013). In 2013, Beck was asked by the Zimbabwean opposition to draw 100 editorial cartoons on site during Morgan Tsvangirai’s unsuccessful bid to oust dictator Robert Mugabe from power.

Over the years, Beck conducted seminars to promote cultural and political understanding between Arab & Israeli (Malta, 1997), US & Cuban (Havana, 1999), and Shi’a, Sunni, & Kurdish (Baghdad, 2004) professional editorial cartoonists. He completed his doctoral degree in Conflict Resolution in 2011 and used his artistic skills, paintings, and insights to promote peaceful resolutions of conflict systems in Africa and Haiti. Traveling to 140+ countries and islands, Beck has used both photography and art to capture the diversity of populations and the details of geographical locations and cultures up to and entering 2017. See

The National Parks Arts Foundation presents an extensive artist-in-residence program in 2018 at Gettysburg National Military Park. With the cooperation of the National Park Service and the Gettysburg Foundation, they are looking for Artists who want to broaden their art practice while spending a full month at this historic battlefield. NPAF is looking for any sort of artwork, from traditional landscapes, photographers, to performers, installations, films/video, as well as writers, poets, sound artists, and new arts media. Virtually any approach can find a place at Gettysburg — what matters is vision and talent. Learn more at

National Parks Arts Foundation


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