You may find yourself trying to ascertain what a sculptor who was born in France has in common with Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The answer is simple – it is the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute (AEI). Beju Lejobart, or simply Beju, has a story that definitely needs telling. The AEI has the means to help him, and other artists, achieve this goal.
Beju was born in Cognac, France. When he was in his late 20s he was asked by his grandmother to repair some furniture that had been damaged in World War II. One of these pieces was a table, which he discovered was missing a piece. At this point, as he duplicated what should have been there, his vision as an artist was born. As he carved the piece of wood, he realized that not only was this something he could do, but it also was something he felt an immediate love for doing.
Thus, Beju became a sculptor. He is totally self-taught, which makes his work that much more impressive.
| "I want to mimic the environment. All of my work is born from there."|
Pairing together elements like metal and wood, he concentrates on the shift in perception of the object. "Wood no longer is organic while the metal takes on a life of its own – becoming more and more organic," he continues. Carefully balancing these materials and his techniques, he brings them all to life. Throw in a dash of humor and add a pinch of sentiment, and you have Beju’s exact style.
Since Beju grew up in a military family, he traveled constantly as a young man, and then as an adult. "I never had the traditional roots that most kids had. I credit this lifestyle with helping me make quick moves and relocate easily," he says. The travel, the chances to observe art and artists and the different cultures have shaped Beju into the artist he is today.
When Beju first arrived in Fort Lauderdale, he came as a businessman, not an artist. Eventually, though, he knew he would have to follow his heart and return to what he loved – sculpting. Fortunately, he never lost touch with his artwork.
There is nothing Beju likes better than to work in his own home, particularly on his patio. "I love working outside regardless of rain, humidity or heat," he explains. He is known to canvas the area looking for discarded wooden pallets. "Finding stainless steel is a little more difficult," he says. But, he keeps looking as he frequently tests other mediums, seeking to expand his repertoire.
Beju’s resume is an impressive piece of work in and of itself. At FAT Village in Fort Lauderdale in 2013, he presented an interactive, immersion piece with eight other artists called the "UnMade Room." He has exhibited in a juried show at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. He was commissioned by the Italian city of Segni to create "Auguraculum Collettivo," a work of art to help facilitate communication between city officials and citizens. Currently, he has submitted an application to create a mural as a part of the
Beju Pitouflette "In us we trust"
Another project originated by the graduates of AEI is the DBA Exhibitions. Beju’s works - along with other featured artists’ projects - were displayed at gallery six, located on the sixth floor of the Broward County Main Library in Fort Lauderdale.