Department of Art Curriculum Vitae
Jeff Beekman is a Florida-born, multi-disciplinary artist living in Tallahassee. His artwork since the early-2000’s has explored human and environmental trauma. Since beginning at FSU ten years ago, he’s worked on two series – the Battlefield Project and the current Florida Coastline Project.
The Battlefield Project photographically explores memorialized and unmemorialized conflict sites in the U.S. Civil War. Many document sites and phenomena directly observed. Others record digital projections of archival photographs of soldiers or heroic paintings of battle. These projections are cast upon the sites where those depicted fought and fell. Rather than post-production collage via Photoshop layering or the like, I am interested in the physical integration, image wrapping over structure, and how projected fragments from the past are supported by and illuminating of the landscapes and structures they are cast upon. Whether observed or constructed, the goal of these photographs is the same – to create a compression between a traumatic past and the present day, a space where the relationship between site and memory, the now and that fleeting moment where the nation almost succeeded in tearing itself apart, can be investigated.
The Florida Coastline Series is another photographic series that draws attention to what we are losing regionally during the ongoing climate-driven ecological changes we are living through. With storm events getting stronger, temperatures getting warmer, sea levels rising, and algal blooms increasing in duration and frequency (affecting salt and freshwater systems alike), Florida’s coastlines and inland waterways are very much a frontline to this crisis. In all cases what is being prioritized is an empathetic engagement with all subjects and locations explored.
Beekman’s work has been supported by a variety of grants, national & international artist residencies, and exhibited throughout the United States and internationally at venues in China, Vietnam, England, Italy, Hungary, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Beekman has additionally given invited artist lectures at a variety of colleges and universities, as well as the U.S. Air Force Academy, Gettysburg National Military Park, and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.