Featured Artist: Beejay Jeromin

Featured Artist: Beejay Jeromin

By Janelle Faignant

The irony is that Beejay Jeromin has always been a color person, even though she grew up in a dark room.

“My dad was a professional newspaper photographer,” she said in a recent phone conversation, “so I have always loved photography.”

She’s held on to boxes of negatives she’s taken over the years and remembers the days when her dad would cover events and the excitement of seeing what developed from them in the dark room. “It was cool, it was an era,” she said.

“You don’t take one shot you take ten, and you race home and develop them and pick the best one and get in your car and drive quickly to the newspaper (he worked for the New Jersey Herald) only to find out the other photographer took the same shot and got there before you,” she said.

“But now we’re so spoiled, we can take 100 of them and delete them all down to the top three. We’re at a fortunate era of photo-taking.”

But she’s always had a 35 mm camera and enjoyed both processes, the old and the new. “I love the feel of a camera in my hand,” she said.

In the Chaffee’s current exhibit ‘Art…the Equalizer,’ she has a handful of abstract photos that she stretches in the PhotoBooth app, as well as a painting she did when she was just 17.

“‘The White Rabbit 1969’ I painted when I was 17,” she said. “My art teacher looked at me with a little raised eyebrow cause it’s kind of out there. (But) it’s not all about drugs it’s about the 1969 song that I fell in love with back then.”

Other inspiration comes from flowers and color, and her process starts with an idea, worked through on the app until it evolves to match the idea.

But she doesn’t take it too seriously. “Let me just throw it up in the air and see what happens,” she said. “A person who can work on the same project for like eight months I just have admiration for people who can do that. I just want to do it and I want it done by breakfast,” she laughed.

“I never considered myself an artist I just always enjoyed my own stuff,” she said. But joining and spending time at the Chaffee nurtured that. “When I started being around artists more, I always had such admiration for their talent and then I thought to myself, why don’t I just give this a try.”