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Contact: Cecilia Wainright, 505-715-5492
Artist Jeff Beekman makes projections on Gettysburg Landscapes
Florida Artist will do nighttime light projection art at Battlefield
The photographs can be roughly divided into two different types, constructed photographs taken at night, which record projections of archival civil war imagery across the landscape. — Jeff Beekman, Artist
Throughout 2016's National Park Service Centennial Summer, the National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF), through the generous support of The Gettysburg Foundation, and with the cooperation of the National Park Service is bringing three innovative artists to Gettysburg National Military Park, the nation's premier battlefield park to work and interact with visitors. Each Artist will be featured during Gettysburg's "First Friday" events at the historic Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station and give other presentations to the public during their residency. The latest artist, Jeff Beekman, will do a special projection event that is set for the weekend of the 153rd anniversary of the historic Battle of Gettysburg.
The June/July Artist-in-Residence, Jeff Beekman, a sculptor and multi-media artist based in Florida, is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Florida State University. He received his BFA in Ceramics from the University of Florida, and his MFA from the University of New Mexico in 3D. A "proud Floridian," Beekman is in the middle of an ambitious 'Battlefield Project' which explores the trauma and consequences of the Civil War and the active processes of how the Nation processes those wounds in memorials such as the over one thousand that exist at Gettysburg National Military Park.
Beekman is widely travelled and is a bit of an outdoorsman, too. "I have twice been chased by alligators swimming where I shouldn't have been (both times saved by passing boaters). I am a herpetologist trained snake catcher, I've been bumped by sharks, lost a stare down with a jack rabbit, eaten starfish, tarantulas, and once by accident a dog while traveling through Mongolia." He's also completed recent projects at battlefields in Virginia and another projection series while on a residency in Assisi, Italy, where he draped images taken from renaissance paintings on landscapes and buildings in areas once traveled by St. Francis of Assisi.
Beekman plans to do nighttime projection work as well as more meditative photography of more fleeting events at Gettysburg National Military Park. The projections are made using archival documents and photography to create collisions between landscapes and the real traces of history. Beekman explains his plans for Gettysburg in this way: "The photographs can be roughly divided into two different types, constructed photographs taken at night, which record projections of archival civil war imagery across the landscape. Then there are the more observational photos, recording more ephemeral events that happen within the landscape. In all cases the goal with these images is to create a compression between the past and present, exploring the intersection of site and memory, the present day sites and their relationship to that fleeting moment where the nation did its best to tear itself apart."
Beekman is fascinated by how the Nation's Civil War Battlefields are used by a variety of groups with often contradictory needs and desires to connect with these histories. He notes that "the complexities of how this history is presented and how the land has been changed has perhaps not been adequately explored." This is why this ongoing partnership between NPAF and the National Park Service at Gettysburg is exciting. It allows for the public to use artworks to reflect on what these historical places and landscapes signify as time goes on and collective ideas evolve.
Jeff Beekman's public schedule is as follows:
Artist: Jeff Beekman
Residency Term Begins: 6/15/16
Residency Term Ends: 7/12/16 "First Friday" Main Public Engagement Presentation 7/1/16
Location: Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
In his presentation, Beekman will discuss his work as an artist and will talk about his experiences in creating this and other works, as well as the ideas behind them.
In addition, Beekman will create a projection event during his residency tenure.
Beekman Installation: July 2, 2016 at sunset (approx. 8:41 +/- 20 mins) at the barn on the historic Codori Farm.
Visitors can access and view the projection via Hancock Avenue at Auto Tour Stop 15.
To inspire, engage and connect with a new generation of artists and visitors, Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation has greatly expanded an "Artist in Residency" program this year, hosting leading artists on the Gettysburg battlefield for month-long residencies from March through November. A total of eight artists will be hosted at the battlefield in 2016. The program was created in cooperation with the non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation and with the Gettysburg Foundation.
"Artists-in-Residence at Gettysburg are helping the National Park Service tell amazing stories that engage new audiences," said Ed W. Clark, superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park. "These programs inspire people to learn more and help preserve special places throughout the National Park Service."
Gettysburg Foundation President Joanne Hanley said, "Gettysburg's NPAF Artists-in-Residence adds an artistic dimension to how Gettysburg's stories are shared as our visitors are able to experience an artist's interpretation of the park and its history, meet the artists in person, and engage and connect with them as they express, through art, the power of this place."
Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American history.
The National Parks Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the promotion of the National Parks of the U.S. by creating dynamic opportunities for artworks that are based in our natural and historic heritage. This project is supported entirely by donation and generous partnerships. For more information on how you can support the Gettysburg National Military Park Artist in Residence and other NPAF arts programs nationwide visit the National Parks Arts Foundation or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.