UI alumnus equally comfortable with wrestling, art


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Many hours of Chad Beatty's life are split between a wrestling mat and an art canvas.

The 25-year-old University of Iowa alumnus studied 3D Design in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa and also competed on the Hawkeye wrestling team.

He was a two-time NCAA qualifier, placed fourth in 2009 and sixth in 2010 at the Big Ten championships.

"It balances each other out for me," he said. "Wrestling is competitive and full of aggression and controlled fury, but with art, it's kind of the opposite — it's really soothing for me."

Currently, Beatty works construction, coaches wrestling at West High, and spends time working at his own art studio that he shares with other artists in Iowa City.

But the Wilton, Iowa, native isn't willing to push any of his interests aside, despite his busy schedule.

"In 10 or 20 years, I'm still going to be in the art world and the wrestling world," he said. "It's always been a part of my life."

Beatty's father, Paul Beatty, confirmed his son's longtime interest in both art and wrestling: "He's always been real athletic, but when he wasn't doing that stuff, he liked to sit and draw."

Paul Beatty said as a child, Chad often spent time drawing at family functions, at church, or at home when he had free time.

Those years of doodling when he was young led to his current career path.

Chad Beatty said he hopes to continue work in graphic design or possibly become a full-time artist.

"I love all aspects of [art]," he said. "The process of it, building a piece and getting to the final stages. I don't currently sell pieces, I mainly do it for fun and for pleasure."

Beatty enjoys different types of artistic craftsmanship, including ceramics, abstract molds, and painting with fine-tip markers on canvas.

He describes himself as a "laid-back guy" but said he is competitive and a perfectionist in all aspects of his life.

UI art Professor Christopher Roy said Beatty's work ethic was a reason for his success at the UI.

"He's a hard-working and serious student," Roy said. "He was always quiet and attentive and paid attention [in class]."

Beatty said he knew he wanted to study art in college, and he felt lucky that the UI had a well-established art program when he was offered a scholarship to wrestle with the Hawkeyes.

He admitted that his time at the UI was not always easy. The pressure of competing in wrestling and managing academic responsibilities was challenging, but it forced him to learn important life lessons.

"For the first couple years it was really hard," Beatty said. "You just have to get used to time management. It's just like anything else — you have to be dedicated and focused, put your nose to the grindstone, and do it."

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