A short piece about James L. Acord was recently published in the New Scientist. The article does a good job of summarizing one of the last projects Jim was working on before he took his life. He was making plutonium for inclusion in his “Fifth Reliquary.” Though the quantities of plutonium being produced were practically insignificant (otherwise I would likely have had more than one “difficult” conversation with some serious men at an undisclosed location by now), let’s not forget that he was making plutonium in his (subsidized) apartment!
It is a sweet irony that I should learn of the New Scientist article the same day that I toured the Hanford B Reactor where the plutonium for Fat Man, and classified thousands of other warheads, was produced. In Hanford, enough plutonium to destroy the Earth hundreds of times over. In Seattle, Jim produces plutonium in quantities practical only for conceptual art.
A memorial is being held this Saturday, March 12, for James. View the Evite Invitation to RSVP.
Many thanks to Tom, Linley, and Janet for getting this done!
Seattle Times Obituary.
Artist James L. Acord, 66, passed away on Sunday, January 9, 2011, in his Pioneer Square apartment. Please check back for information on a public memorial and other updates.
Jim was an only child born in Seattle on October 19, 1944, in the Holocene Epoch, to Gail Elizabeth Chapman and James Leroy Acord.
Jim was at one time a devout altar boy, a cowboy, a master stone carver in Barre VT, a farm hand, and an artist in residence at Imperial College London. Barre stone carvers respected him enough to elect him union president and despite lacking a high-school diploma, James completed post-graduate courses in nuclear engineering.
He was a perfectionist in all his pursuits, whether sculpture, riflery or technical mountain climbing. His superlative draftsmanship is evidenced in the hundreds of finely detailed drawings of bird’s nests, seed pods, animal bones and the like, turning mundane natural objects into poignant art.