Barbara Beeman

Barbara Beeman - A musician and photographer


In 1979 pop artist Tom Wesselmann sent a fan letter to me after hearing "The Dixie Darlins" entertain on Frank Mare's Grass Roots of American Music WBAI broadcast.  He subsequently asked me to perform his song "Pictures on the Wall of Your Heart" on Artsounds Collaborative record(UBUWEB).  I knew then that music and art careers could happily co-exist and that my music as well as my work in photography could appear simultaneously in my life.  If Tom Wesselmann could write country songs as Slim Stealingworth and create beautiful modern art paintings, I could have more than one artistic pursuit.  Another dual artist, R. Crumb, advised me to "play and sing the music you love what truly comes from your heart and from your deepest passion."


So, music & photos & Bayonne, N. J. and a career working at Hudson County Welfare as a Supervisor of Social Work along with partner Bill Bannon seem to be my baseline.  My mom, Jeannette and dad, David were entertained by my pursuits and were most happy that I was the first in the family to graduate from college (Jersey City State College.)


At JCSC, I studied photography with Pauline Gurtner and was the lab assistant along with fellow photographer Herb Wiley.  Nancy Bein loaned me her 35mm Mamiya and I began my photo career.  At the time, we were into surrealism (Anais Nin was a long time friend of Prof. Sharon Spencer) and many of my photos were double images.  I took my first wedding photos for my friend Linda Hult.


After college, I went to work as a reporter/photographer for The Hudson Dispatch for two years before moving on to become a social worker.  As a social worker and supervisor at Hudson County Welfare I could help people in my community and still pursue my dual interests in music and photography.


During the course of the years, I was part of the Hoboken Artists scene as a singer/musician.  Bill Bannon & I along with Warren Gardner performed as The Dixie Darlins;  we were also the Heartsnares Band with Ken Haferman and Rob Hunter and The Barbara Beeman Band with Ted Dunn, Mike Gatton and Tony Gutierrez.  We put out recordings such as Candy From Strangers, Moving Day, So the Story Goes, and Spare Change.  We are currently working on a new recording with songwriter John Parrott as our producer.  We performed at The Bitter End, Gerdes Folk City, the Dugout, the Shannon Tavern June Moon Shows, Maxwell's, the Brass Rail and recently played music to coincide with my photographic work on display at The Cupping Room Cafe and Barnes & Noble Chelsea. 


In 2004, I decided to show my photography work at the urging of my printer.  He asked me why I was I hiding all of my lovely images.  He said that I needed to show my work.  I requested a show at Bayonne City Hall and Mayor Doria loved my photos of Bayonne Park and I had my first one woman showing.  Since that time I have had exhibits at The Portfolio Gallery/Restaurant, New York City; the Cupping Room Cafe, New York City; Barnes & Noble Chelsea, New York City; the Brennan Courthouse juried show "Different Visions;" the Secaucus Library. 


So, here are some pictures on the wall of my heart.